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Australians and New Zealanders commemorate ANZAC Day with driveway tributes

Tim Newton

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Australians and New Zealanders have stood outside their homes at dawn this morning to mark the annual ANZAC Day. This year’s tributes and salutes to the fallen who have served their countries at war have been from a distance. A new generation stood quietly at the entrance to their homes, in some cases wearing the medals of their relatives that served, to join in the 104 year tradition.

The national day of remembrance has become, certainly in the case of Australians, the most important day of commemoration and still attracts crowds for community parades and dawn services. ANZAC Day commemorates the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at Gallipoli, in Turkey, during World War I in 1915.

Whilst the ‘Diggers’, the original Aussie and Kiwi soldiers that served in the Gallipoli campaign, are long since passed, the spirit continues. Indeed the popularity of the day, and the message, has found a new voice in the last couple of decades in new generations.

Its original commemoration and thanks to the Diggers that served in the fateful Gallipoli campaign has now morphed into something that reaches the newer generations. The day now broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”.

Of course the traditional dawn services, gatherings and parades were cancelled last month along with the bans on restrictions on gatherings around the two countries. But, instead, people were urged to hold a candle in their driveways and live stream their personal services.

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern had already acknowledged the disappointment in the ceremonies being cancelled for the first time in history.

“But that doesn’t mean we can’t show our support as a collective. As dawn breaks, we can stand at the end of those driveways, together in silence and pay tribute to those we should never forget.”

Australia’s PM Scott Morrison attended a closed dawn ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, which began at 6am and was broadcast nationally. Channel 9 covered the morning’s commemorations across the nation.

Usually, huge crowds gather at war memorials and community halls each year to attend dawn services But the home-bound tributes, no less significant or moving, included musicians playing the Last Post in suburban streets, while others shared pictures of poppy wreaths online and baked ANZAC biscuits (cookies) at home.

“ANZAC biscuits have long been associated with the ANZACs, a tradition established in World War I. It has been claimed that biscuits were sent by wives and women’s groups to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. They are a chewy treat made from oats, flour, butter and golden syrup.”

The Australia’s veterans group, the Returned Services League, encouraged “diggers”, now used broadly to describe service men and women, to call each other in lieu of the traditional marches and parades.

The two nation’s usually stage a joint ANZAC Day services at Gallipoli in Turkey, often a pilgrimage for many citizens, but these were also cancelled after travel bans made the grand service impossible. Once wartime foes, the Turks, Aussies and Kiwis now share a special bond, forged in war but remembered as a sacrifice of common people caught up in the tragedy of war.

Australians and New Zealanders commemorate ANZAC Day with driveway tributes | News by Thaiger

 

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 450 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now the General Manager and writer for The Thaiger. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue.

Events

Tuesday’s full moon will be a SUPER full moon

Tim Newton

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Tonight there will be a full moon. But not just ANY full moon, a SUPER full moon. Whoooaaa!

Whilst Koh Pha Ngan’s monthly full moon party has been shelved for the meantime, we can still appreciate this monthly phenomenon (well, not quite monthly). The The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand says that the April astronomical phenomenon coincides with the perigee – the point in the orbit of the Moon which is nearest to the earth – so that the full moon will appear larger-than-usual. But we’re only talking a few percent bigger and brighter.

This fluctuation in the full moon’s distance from Earth is caused by the fact that the moon’s orbit around the Earth isn’t perfectly circular but very slightly elliptical. If the full moon occurs closer to the perigee (the closest point to Earth on this slightly elliptical orbit), it can appear bigger than if it occurs closer to the apogee (the farthest point).

If you’re a flat-earther you’ll have to come up with your own explanation.

The NARIT says tonight’s the moon will rise in the east from 7pm (of course the Moon always rises in the east). Of course the clouds from the early arrival of the wet season in parts of Thailand will either make the viewing impossible or perhaps more spectacular.

The NARIT has a few tips to get a great photo of tonight’s phenomenon… Use telephoto lens with focal length over 300mm and set your camera’s ISO at 400 or over.

And if you miss this supermoon, we’ll do it all again next month on May 26. This one will be even closer to the Earth and therefore slightly bigger, although the difference will still probably be impossible to spot.

Tuesday's full moon will be a SUPER full moon | News by Thaiger

Tuesday's full moon will be a SUPER full moon | News by ThaigerFor more information, visit HERE.

 

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Events

Lest we forget – ANZAC Day 2021 for Australians and New Zealanders

Tim Newton

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ANZAC Day, April 25, is when Australians and New Zealanders commemorate and remember those who fought for their countries and the Commonwealth with the origins of the event forged in the crucible of war at Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915. It is the most solemn day in the annual calendar of those two countries and usually commemorated with dawn services in both countries, by expats around the world, at at Gallipoli in Turkey.

Again, this year, Aussies and Kiwis are honouring the fallen at a distance, in Thailand and in other countries as well where social distancing is currently the norm. But the spirit of the ‘diggers’ and other soldiers lives on as we thank them for the service to their nations.

“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.”

Below, Mick Clarke, the manager at Hellfire Pass war cemetery and museum in Kancahaburi, western Thailand near the Burmese border, lays a wreath at dawn this morning.

PHOTOS: Military History Kanchanaburi

Lest we forget - ANZAC Day 2021 for Australians and New Zealanders | News by ThaigerLest we forget - ANZAC Day 2021 for Australians and New Zealanders | News by Thaiger

 

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Thailand

Burmese students to hold Bangkok cultural event to support Civil Disobedience Movement

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Stock photo via Flickr

Burmese students in Thailand are holding an art and culture concert to raise awareness and funds for the Civil Disobedience Movement. The concert, called “Myanmar Spring,” will be held on April 24 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. The event will help fund the movement, which has staged protests over the February 1 coup in Myanmar by the military. It will honour the families of internally displaced individuals and of those who have lost their lives in the conflicts.

Last Friday, the Myanmar military allegedly killed 82 civilians, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an advocacy group. The military then told the families of those killed that they would have to pay US$85 to recover their loved ones’ bodies, according to Bago University Students’ Union’s Facebook page as well as Radio Free Asia’s Burmese service.

Eyewitnesses in Bago say the Burmese military used grenades, RPGs, and assault rifles to quell anti-coup protestors, forcing many villagers and activists to flee and go into hiding. Military security forces are going through the neighbourhoods now and have cut off internet access. Since the February 1 coup, the military has been systematically cracking down against peaceful protesters, detaining 3,000 civilians and killing over 700 more.

NGO Human Rights Watch had published a call for the EU to take action and implement strict sanctions on the Burmese military on Thursday. And yesterday the US Embassy in Myanmar joined the call, posting on Twitter, urging peace.

The art and cultural event will also be held virtually on the same day. Anyone wishing to support the event outside of attending can buy t-shirts at the food festival being held on April 13. The orchestral music concert will be performed by a group of student volunteers and others. There will also be a poetry recital and other heartfelt performances, which the artists say will reflect the struggles for democracy in Myanmar.

Information on tickets and performances for “Myanmar Spring” is on their Facebook page HERE.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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