Reveille under a mango tree in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

A gathering under a mango tree...
This morning, at 6:30am, we convened at RMIT University 
in Ho Chi Minh City, under a mango tree in full fruit, 
to attend an Anzac Day remembrance service 
with other Australian and New Zealand expats and travellers.

We remembered...
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance 
in Australia and New Zealand, marking the anniversary 
of the first major military action fought by 
Australian and New Zealand forces 
during the First World War.   


Around the globe...
On this day, Australians and New Zealanders 
around the globe, remember and say a prayer 
for those soldiers who died defending their country.

Bound to serve...
This day resonates with us as well, our son, Patrick,
is a Lieutenant in the Australian Army Corps. 
A mother and father could not be prouder.
As you can see from the photo below, 
his little brother, Connor, feels the same way.  
More on Patrick's story here.

Unfortuantley, we could not be with Patrick today.
We are in Ho Chi Minh City and he is in Melbourne, Australia.
His lovely girlfriend, Cherie, who is equally proud of him,
sent these photos today..

Patrick leading the march in a local town service.
Patrick in uniform..just love the hat!
He gifted one to me when he gradutated
from Duntroon.

A selfie..Cherie and Patrick.
So sweet!

When the tears flow...
I am one of those people who wells up in tears
at the drop of a hat. My family is always at the ready, 
for when Mom shows the first signs of blubbering.
It doesn't take much, I am a softy at heart.

I have a soft spot for national anthems. 
Throw them all in there, America, Australia,
New Zealand, England and even Vietnam
(I am still working on that one). 
They remind me of our time living in each county, 
the school assemblies, sport games and national celebrations.
When we start to sing, my heart skips a beat,
the tears well, my voice croaks..
if you are like me, you know the drill.

The Bugler calls...
This morning was a bundle of emotions 
as the bugler belted out..

a song to symbolise that 
the duty of the dead is over
and they can rest in peace.

followed by
One Minute Silence

and then the
to break the silence that follows
the playing of the Last Post

By this point I was welling up...and then

 We sang two anthems...
Advance Australia Fair
God Defend New Zealand

If they had sung the New Zealand anthem 
in the Maori language as well, 
which they traditionally do in New Zealand,
I would have slipped right off my chair.

If you are not familiar with the Australian and New Zealand national
anthems, please click on the links below. For you softies, like me,
grab the tissues...

Advance Australia Fair

God Defend New Zealand (Maori and English)

Lest we forget...
If you would like to know more about the 
Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces,
you can follow the links below.
New Zealand Defense Force

With a tissue in my hand,
I wish you a wonderful weekend.
Grab those you love and give them a hug!

Jeanne xx


  1. Prayers
    Thank you for posting the videos. The Australian and New Zealand National Anthems are beautiful.
    A hand towel instead of tissues for this softie.

    1. I know the feeling Maywyn...a hand towel is far more sensible. ;)

  2. A very emotional and moving day for you and your family. Sadly you could not be with your son at this celebration. How nice to have the pictures sent from home, precious to keep. No doubt lots of expats and visitors to keep you company and share the day.

    1. Thank you Eleni, I appreciate your comment, thanks so much for stopping by. ;)

  3. Guess what ?I too am a SOFTY!!!!
    You must be so proud of HIM.Gorgeous young man too!
    Now, when you go to visit I have a dear dear friend who lives in MELBOURNE.You must make time for her!She gives massages for a living in her home which has a bunny skirting around the house and hopefully soon a puppy!As she lost her LOTTIE a few months back of 13 years.her Lottie and I were born in the same small town due EAST of SAN FRANCISCO!I call my friend or I should say I re~named her JANE AUDREY as she is another AUDREY HEPBURN in our lifetime!!!Please let me know when you will be traveling to see your SON as i will give you her info.OKEY~DOKEY as they say down there!XOXOXOX

    1. I will be certain to let you know Elizabeth, how could I pass up such a wonderful offer!! xx

  4. Dear Jeanne....Thank you for this post! I listened to both national anthems and yes, a sister tear shedder I am. Went on to listen to the Norwegian national anthem taught to me by my grandparents...more tears..then the French, learned in years of French language classes, and there is, indeed, something deep within that connects to these tunes and words sung by the people who live in and love there land, and by those who are living elsewhere on earth who feel that close tie to their homeland or place where they have lived as the music and words fills them through and through....Thank day is full of music, words and sweet connections. Kristin

    1. I am so happy to hear that the national anthems took you down a special path, words and sweet connections. I love it! xx

  5. "We remembered...
    Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance
    in Australia and New Zealand, marking the anniversary
    of the first major military action fought by
    Australian and New Zealand forces
    during the First World War."
    Let's remember and honor the present men and women in the services and the past.
    My father was in the Second World War.
    Have a wonderful weekend Jeanne.

    1. Thank you Edgar...I hope you had a weekend filled with words. I have so enjoyed the ones that have tumbled through my email box..just magic. ;)

  6. Dear Jeanne

    I love the picture of Patrick and his beautiful girlfriend. You must be very proud of him. I would have been blubbering away beside you. Like you, I cry when I hear the anthem of a country I have lived in. The Last Post now that is when the mascara gets all over my face!!
    Have a wonderful weekend

    Helen xx

    1. Thank you Helen...and for the link you sent me for Waltzing Matilda. I just loved it and have saved it for future remembrances. xx

  7. Thanks, Jeanne, for this very special post.
    Farm Gal in VA

  8. My what a handsome son you have, with a very beautiful girlfriend! Your post about Australia and New Zealand is wonderful and would bring a tear to anyone's eye. My dad, who was never able to do much traveling in his lifetime, always said that, if he could go anywhere in the world he would like to go to New Zealand. He must have liked the beautiful pictures he had seen over the years. Australia used to be my first choice for visiting, but of course, after you've seen Paree, what can I say. :-) I am very grateful that Australia and New Zealand continue to be strong allies of the USA.

    1. Thank you Judy...both countries are beautiful and very different from each other. If you have travel to one, I highly recommend travelling to the other as well. I can appreciate your predicament...Paris is so easy to fall in love with.. xx

  9. Jeanne
    Thank you so much for this bit of history. Your son looks dashing in his uniform. The Aussies really have it when it comes to hats don't they?

    1. They certainly do Cindy, that one is a keeper! ;)

  10. Seems that you have really adopted your host countries. Lovely and embracing.

    1. Thank you Lisa..a sentimental thought, "lovely and embracing". I think I need a tissue for that one..;)

  11. Thank you for sharing this, Jeanne...I find myself welling up whenever I hear Taps. You must be very proud of your handsome son!! Have a lovely rest of the weekend! xoxo

    1. Thank you Sandy and yes...I am very proud of him...of all of them. ;) xx


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