Wednesday, April 27, 2011

ANZAC Day commemoration in Jerusalem

An Aussie or a Kiwi soldier stood with head bowed at each of the four corners of the catafalque.
This morning ANZAC Day was commemorated for the 96th time.
A time to honor the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
Here are some pictures from the Jerusalem War Cemetery on Mt. Scopus.
The Australian flag with its stars of the Southern Cross constellation.
The cemetery, begun in 1917 by the Imperial [now Commonwealth] War Graves Commission, overlooks a Jerusalem much larger than it was during World War I.
With today's modern technology for making war, it is hard to imagine these men going to battle as "light horse brigades" and, like on this tombstone, even the Imperial Camel Corps.
The flag of New Zealand in front of the memorial chapel.
A book with information was in the chapel.
You can read this page and/or learn more at my previous posts about this beautiful cemetery.
Some of today's invited guests.
I like the Embassy of Turkey next to the Israel Defense Force representatives.
Following the prayer of remembrance by Pastor Evan Thomas and Psalm 23 recited by Rabbi Dr. Raymond Apple, the ANZAC Day Address was given by Ms. Andrea Faulkner, Ambassador of Australia.
Everything said was short and to the point, moving but not overly sentimental.
The poem "We shall keep the faith (1918)," by Moina Michael, "the poppy lady," was read, followed by the laying of wreaths.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland brought the small wreath looking like poppies.
It is nice that UNTSO, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation, adds "In the service of Peace."
The always tear-producing "Ode to the Fallen" was read. All repeat: We will remember them.
A soldier from Fiji (more about him tomorrow) played The Last Post.
After we stood for one minute of silence, he played The Rouse.
And all said "Lest we forget."
The national anthems of Australia and New Zealand.
Benediction Prayer.
Catafalque Party dismounts.

After the official ceremony, those who wished followed Rabbi Apple (Rabbi emeritus of Sydney's Great Synagogue) to the graves of 24 Commonwealth Jewish soldiers.
He read a Psalm and El Maleh Rachamim and we all said Kaddish.

Everyone gathered for refreshments and conversation.
In the Jerusalem War Cemetery are 2,515 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 100 of them unidentified.
On the wall on the sides of the chapel are engraved the names of 3,366 Commonwealth servicemen who fought and died in Egypt and Palestine during the Great War and who have no known grave.
Who can comprehend such great numbers!
We remember them.
And those who continue to serve in the ANZAC spirit, in our region and around the world, we thank them too.


Rayna Eliana said...

Such a lovely tribute to all of those who served, and a wonderful remembrance.

Kay said...

How lovely that Turkey came to represent their country and to pay their respects as well. This was such a sad time.

VP said...

A great post for an important ceremony honoring those brave soldiers. I am curious about the Fiji man...

Robin said...

I wonder how that went, with Turkey and the IDF...

The Last Post always reminds me of And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, which in turns makes me cry.

Lest we forget.

Spiderdama said...

It`s a wonderful post Dina. A bit sad, but lovely pictures. I also like Turkey next to IDF.

Anonymous said...

An important day indeed. Great entry and photography !

Please excuse as I did not know of this day before. It was just a short while ago that I found an ANZAC statue over here. Will post it in the beginning of the new week.

Please have you all a good Thursday.

Cloudia said...

Bless them

Warm Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral




Hels said...

It seems to be a very moving and sensitive cemetery and war memorial. So I am delighted Australian and New Zealand dignitaries turn up each year to mark ANZAC Day.

Thanks for the link

RuneE said...

"The war to end all wars" - I wish it had like that. A worthy ceremony.

Dina said...

Thank you all for expressing feelings on this subject.

Helen, thank you for the link to your post. Your thinking and information there confirms what I just sort of felt at the Anzac service. Good that you articulate it so well.

brattcat said...

I've just seen your comment about the Heifer Ranch in Arkansas on Virginia's blog. We, too, are true believers in the Heifer Project. I'm newly back from travels and just hearing of the storms. I hope Heifer has not suffered great losses. This is a very fine post, Dina.

brattcat said...

Thanks for your response, Dina. I'm relieved to know it was no worse for the Heifer project, though I am saddened by any loss for them because every building, every last chicken makes such a difference. How wonderful that you were able to volunteer at the ranch. Heifer Intl is an inspired and an inspiring example of how to "be" in the world.

Francisca said...

A touching testimonial. What brought you there on this day, Dina?

Virginia said...

You do such a wonderful job with your text and of course the photographs. Lest we forget...indeed.

Dina said...

Francisca, since my daughter and her husband moved to Australia and now all their kids are native-born Aussies, I have a personal love for their new country.
So I emailed the Australian Embassy in Tel Aviv asking if I could come to the commemoration (and photograph and blog about it). They said sure no problem and emailed me an invitation.

Ann said...

I had no idea it was celebrated so formally in Israel.

J Bar said...

Thanks for directing me over to your Anzac posts, Dina. I'm really interested to see these and I'm so glad you've shown these photos on your blog. A fitting tribute.

J Bar said...

Did you see my Anzac Day post this week?

Sally said...

Really interesting. Those commonwealth war graves have a real dignity about them.