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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bolt Action - ANZAC Day, Lest We Forget

This morning, many of your fellow Bolt Action hobbyists, namely those from Australia and New Zealand woke up and joined the hundreds of thousands of other ordinary people of all ages in the cold darkness and rain before dawn, gathering at local ceremonies, large and small. Why? Well, to remember those men and women who served in war.

On ANZAC day, the two nations take time to remember all those lost in war, as well as thank those who lived through it and carry its scars still. Although it’s a military day, it’s not used to glorify victories in battle, but acknowledge the sacrifices made by ordinary men and women as well as build bridges with enemies of the past. We remember all those who suffered in war.

On this day 99 years ago,  in the first light of dawn, Australian and New Zealand troops entered battle, and history, for the first time as they made amphibious landings at Gallipoli. This 1915 campaign fought by the allies against Turkey was a disaster, a defeat. But these two young nations were proud of the character shown by their men in the face of adversity.

After the veterans of the First World War returned home, they began to meet on this very day at dawn and remember their mates they lost. Over the years, friends and relatives joined them. Now the crowds are in their thousands and they recite this paragraph from the ode to the fallen:

" 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. "

This poem neither attributes right or wrong nor does it glorify war. It simply articulates what the war meant to those who were involved in it.

What does this have to do with Bolt Action? 

Well our beloved game is based on history, the Second World War. We have all researched the history of battles and particular units we are collecting, and I think it is worth remembering that it was real people who’s actions created this history.

Most nations have a day of remembrance for those who served it, so I know this isn’t a unique Australian and New Zealand thing.

Also, many of us have family members and ancestors who served in the Second World War. Indeed, some of us are even collecting armies inspired by this, very personal, connection.

I think these real life stories are fascinating, so if you have one, why not head over to the forum and tell us yours?

Lest We Forget.


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