Symbols used on Anzac and Remembrance Days

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ROSEMARY

Rosemary is an ancient symbol of remembrance, and has particular significance for Australians as it can be found growing on the wild slopes of Gallipoli. Sprigs of rosemary are worn on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day, by veterans and others attending services and parades.

Rosemary is a scented herb believed to strengthen the memory, and so it became a symbol of remembrance. It has become associated with the Anzac tradition of being loyal to one’s mates, and active in honouring the memory of fallen and departed comrades.

THE ODE

“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 shall remember them.”

From the poem :”For the Fallen” by English poet Laurence Binyon.

We recite The Ode at Anzac Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies to acknowledge the bravery of those who fell so that others might enjoy peace and freedom.

THE LAST POST

This is a bugle call marking the end of a soldier’s day. It has been used in memorial services as a final farewell to the dead whose duty is over and whose souls can now rest in peace. The Last Post begins a period of silent reflection, and Reveille ends it. The two tunes symbolise sunset and sunrise, and therefore, death and resurrection.

REVEILLE

Also a bugle call, and sometimes called The Rouse, it is chiefly used to wake military personnel at sunrise. The name comes from the French word for ‘wake up’.

WREATH LAYING

Why do we do this? It is a simple ceremony to honour those who perished in defence of their country. Traditionally , they were made from laurel branches as a symbol of victory and peace, and as a commemorative decoration.