ANZAC poppy goes digital

Published on the 24/04/2015 | Written by Clare Coulson


Anzac poppies

Digital campaigns have featured in the lead up to the ANZAC centenary commemorations, in part to reach younger generations lest they forget...

Made famous by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in his poem ‘In Flanders fields’, the red poppy has been a symbol of remembrance for the lives lost on the battlefield since the time of the Great War (1914-1918). This year, as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the landing at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli, digital channels are being used in the remembrance process, not just to advise on service times and the like but, in the case of the 5000 poppies blog, to crowdsource the production of 5000 handcrafted poppies to be ‘planted’ in Fed Square, Melbourne on Anzac Day 2015 as a visual tribute to Australian servicemen and women. The project has been such a success that it received more than 250,000 poppies and they are now displayed in a variety of installations in and around Fed Square. In New Zealand, the poppy has been given a digital upgrade in the hope of reaching out to a younger generation.

The Pin A Poppy Appeal, which is being run by the New Zealand Herald publisher NZME., allows participants to make a donation to the RSA’s annual poppy appeal and in return display a virtual poppy on their social media profiles and download it to computers and devices.

NZME. chief executive Jane Hasting explained in an article that appeared in The New Zealand Herald last Friday: “Through our digital reach, NZME. believes that we can help attract a wider, younger audience, including Kiwis living abroad, to participate in the Poppy Appeal.

“In the same way that people can show their support and wear a poppy badge, we want to allow Kiwis to donate online or via text and showcase their support on social media, in turn encouraging more people to donate to the worthy cause.”

iStart gives a thumbs up ‘like’ to the campaign, and also thought it poignant to share a modern-day ANZAC poem by Paul Hunter, which has already been shared by thousands on Facebook. One hundred years after John McCrae wrote began his poem with the immortal words ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow. Between the crosses, row on row,’ this new offering describes the meaning that the poppy has taken on today:

I am not a badge of honour,
I am not a racist smear,
I am not a fashion statement,
To be worn but once a year,
I am not glorification
Of conflict or of war.
I am not a paper ornament
A token,
I am more.

I am a loving memory,
Of a father or a son,
A permanent reminder
Of each and every one.

I’m paper or enamel
I’m old or shining new,
I’m a way of saying thank you,
To every one of you.

I am a simple poppy
A Reminder to you all,
That courage faith and honour,
Will stand where heroes fall.
– Paul Hunter, 2014

We remember them.

pin a poppy

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