ANZAC Day Thoughts/Poem

I always struggle to know how to handle ANZAC day... As a pacifist who is also thankful for the heart with which these men and woman carry/carried to protect and serve...I choose to honour this heart, and be challenged by the difference that each of us can make in this world through each action no matter how big or small.

Here is a poem of mine in that regard:

THE NUMBERS

an ANZAC poem by Andy Dickson


Alexander Bain Stewart

Recruit 152

Regiment 6

Canterbury Battalion 1st company


Drafted in 1914

October 16 he left Lyttleton

bound for Cairo

where he trained 5 months


April 25th, 1915

9:30am he stormed the beaches of Gallipoli

1 of the first


2 kilometres North of their intended landing point

2 kilometres north of a safer landing point

2 kilometres north of far fewer casualties


The man was 60kg

His pack, 35

He added the weight of 1 ammo box

Discarded by the Brits on the beach

And made it to safety


204 of his battalion didn't


It was 2 days until he got more water for his canteen


On May 2 the ANZACS attacked Baby700

A hill of prized position

It lasted 2 days

No ground was gained

51 of Stewart's Battalion were lost


The Battle for the Daisy patch began on May 6

It lasted 3 days

500 metres of ground was gained

Of no significance to the allies' cause

The allies lost 6500 men

The kiwis 800

The Canterbury Battalion 206


1 in 6 - kiwis who stormed the beaches of Gallipoli never made it home


On August 8 at the battle of Chunuk Bair

The battalion was fired upon from 3 sides

While helping a fallen comrade

Alexander Stewart took 1 bullet to the chest


10cm left of his heart

10cm between life and death

10cm between living as a hero and dying as one

10cm between the existence of over 30 descendants or not


10cm between my existence or not


When I crunch the numbers

I see that bravery and fear

are not mutually exclusive


When I crunch the numbers

I see that the hunger for power

brings immeasurable cost


When I crunch the numbers

I see the power in small things

That 10cm can stretch through time

10cm can save a family line


When I crunch the numbers

I see that it all could have been so different

That the small things make a difference


That I must make a difference!