While attending ANZAC Day dawn ceremonies just now, I was reminded of how little people understand the unknown/absent/single father from the poems that are read on ANZAC Day.

I have re-written the originals slightly below, for those who are battling and those who have gone before, and for those who would like to understand the plight of the “unknown father” who daily still lays down his life.

For The Fallen
Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

With proud thanksgiving, a father for his children,
A father mourns for his children.
Flesh of his flesh they were, spirit of his spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the courts thrill: Divorce august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battles of life, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

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.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond the sea’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.


Courtesy Peter Berger
Photo: Pixabay/Pexels.

About the Author: Guest Writer

Dads4Kids is a harm prevention charity committed to excellence in fathering. Our vision is to transform the nation by inspiring fathers to help their children be the best they can be. There’s a crisis in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 870,000 children, more than 1 in 6, live without their biological father at home.

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