We were part of an invading force. They bravely defended their land. We tore the heart out of our country but established our honour and resourcefulness. This is a nice piece that suggests we honour the fallen but also remember the grieving parents. And I think of the mums.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who fought at Gallipoli and later led Turkey, knew the parents suffered worst. That is why his famous words on the memorial at Ari Burnu are addressed mostly to the mothers:
Wipe away your tears,
Your sons are now lying in our bosom and in peace.
After having lost their lives on this land
They have become our sons as well.
And around Anzac day over the last few years my path has crossed with Turkish people who I would call friends; Onor Bodur, the Titiroglou brothers and this weekend Hande Akman and her sister. I feel a strange kinship. As I do with Giang Trinh from Hanoi with my (unfunny) joke that 45 years ago we would've met, but looking at each other through rifle scopes. I don't think I'd've stood a chance. Giang would've been defending his land, too.
Often those in mortal combat have more that unites them than divides. It often seems that a system makes enemies of people who could be friends.
Surely that is one of the horrors of war.
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