Aussies, Kiwis and Armenians in the “cruel month” of April

Flag of Australia

Flag of Australia

ANZAC Day is not widely commemorated here in the US. Pity, that. In Australia and New Zealand it’s one of the most widely celebrated days of the year. It’s a rare thing indeed that two sovereign nations share the same rememberance day; perhaps rarer is the fact that the name of both countries are represented in the acronym:  ANZAC stands for “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps”.

Flag of New Zealand

Flag of New Zealand

There’s a fine article regarding ANZAC Day on Wikipedia of course so I won’t try to re-hash all that here for you, but encourage you to read that for yourselves, Dear Readers. Find out about the Dawn Service and other interesting facts surrounding this event.

Here, I’d simply like to point out just a couple of things.

Anzac Cove

A view of Anzac Cove, Çanakkale, Gallipoli, Turkey

In Gallipoli, Turkey, where ANZAC personnel were deployed, stands a monument. Again, Wikipedia treats this in much more detail, but I was struck by the words inscribed on that monument and at a similar monument in Canberra, Australia. It reads:

Those heroes that shed their blood And lost their lives. You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side Here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, Who sent their sons from far away countries Wipe away your tears, Your sons are now lying in our bosom And are in peace After having lost their lives on this land they have Become our sons as well.

Pretty touching, eh? That really gets me.

So here’s what’s puzzling: you may know that smALL FLAGs now ships to over 40 foreign countries. Mostly all that shipping is sent via the United States Postal Service® (USPS). USPS logoWhen we use their website to print the postage labels, it lists restrictions or prohibitions for the specific country to which we are shipping. For Australia it lists:

PROHIBITIONS:
Coins; bank notes; currency notes (paper money); securities of any kind payable to bearer; traveler’s checks; platinum, gold, and silver (manufactured or not); precious stones; jewelry; and other valuable articles are prohibited.
Fruit cartons (used or new).
Goods bearing the name “Anzac.”

It’s that last one of course that I just don’t understand. Shipments to New Zealand have no such prohibition.

Flag of Armenia

Flag of Armenia

And here’s an interesting tie-in: today was ANZAC Day, but yesterday, April 24th, was the 95th commemoration of the Armenian genocide. The total number of resulting Armenian deaths is generally held to have been between one and one and a half million.

I phoned my Armenian buddy, Artur, yesterday to express my condolences. He touchingly told me that during those hard times he lost half of all his relatives.

Armenians

Armenian civilians are marched to a nearby prison in Mezireh by armed Turkish soldiers. Kharpert, Ottoman Empire, April 1915.

When will we ever learn to get along?

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