Seems odd to be locked in*, albeit voluntarily and for good reason, while commemorating those who gave up everything for freedom.
ANZAC Day, 25 April, is the anniversary of the first landings, the invasion, that began the Australia and New Zealand Army Corp Gallipoli campaign in World War One.
This does not commemorate a victory or even the worst battle in terms of loss of life. More New Zealanders were lost in battles on the Western Front (including my great grandfather) but ANZAC Day has gained special significance.
It’s evolved to become the day when we honour all who served, both returned and dead, in all wars. The day has similar importance in Australia, New Zealand's partner in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli.
World War One had a huge impact on New Zealand which was a young country with a tiny population, just under One Million. In total 100,444 served overseas (troops and supporting services) and 18,166 died.
These numbers are staggering but a photo I took in 2005 highlights the impact on one small community. It's a roll of honour on an old suspension bridge in Clifden, Southland, New Zealand.
From a tiny rural population 30 men travelled ~17,000km to a war about as far from their home as it is possible to get, and only 24 returned.
War Memorials like this can be found all over NZ, it makes you think, it makes you remember. One of the millions who died was my Mums Grandfather. Killed on the battlefield in the last few months of World War One (which ended 11th November – 1918):
In Memory of Private ERNEST THEODORE BOCK
who died age 37 on 12 September 1918
29609, New Zealand Machine Gun Battalion
Husband of Isabella Jane Bock, of 19 Russell St., Linwood, Christchurch.
Born in South Australia.
Remembered with honour;
GREVILLERS (NEW ZEALAND) MEMORIAL
Commemorated in perpetuity by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
* Posted during the 2020 COVID-19 Nationwide Lock Down. Kiwi's stayed home for 5 weeks to prevent the transmission of a virulent respiratory virus.