• Nicholas Hastie

Why do you cry on ANZAC Day?


Emphasising the importance of Anzac Day to the younger generation through commemorative services is an important duty, as it allows an appreciation to grow. An appreciation of Australia, the freedom it carries, and all the lives sacrificed to achieve this.

Creating new devices to engage and direct children’s attention towards the history and emotional worth Anzac Day bears is therefore crucial, and Narangba State School Deputy Principal, Mr Kerry Lofgren, has done just that by creating a song about Anzac Day which encourages the participation of students in remembrance celebrations.

Written in 2007, ‘Why Do You Cry On Anzac Day?’ was inspired by a series of events that occurred during Mr Lofgren’s previous Deputy Principal posting. Responsible for coordinating the school’s Anzac Day ceremonies, Mr Lofgren noticed that the school had a sizeable amount of families in the Australian Defence Force, and that Anzac Day therefore played a very significant role for the children with parents serving.

“I saw a girl crying during the ceremony, we had a reflection lawn, and we had mothers and fathers serving in the Australian Defence Force,” recalls Mr Lofgren. “One year as I was leaving, a father in uniform holding his child’s hand said thank you to me as he left. I thought this was interesting, and I was humbled because I should have been thanking this man.”

An inner motivation and passion drove Kerry to orchestrate the musical piece, and with the concepts of his experiences incorporated into the lyrics, a meaningful song developed.

“This is what I do. I take stories from people and events around me and write songs. I think it helps me put these things into context, and most of the time I feel appreciative of my situation.”

The first song that the school choir learns each year, ‘Why Do You Cry On Anzac Day?’ has been performed at Narangba State School’s Anzac Day ceremony for the past decade, with the school also extending the reach and message of the song to the surrounding communities. In 2010, the school choir were gifted the opportunity to perform the song on 612 ABC’s AM morning show, and in 2017 they performed the song at the Burpengary War Memorial Anzac Day Service.

Why Do You Cry On ANZAC Day?

by Kerry Lofgren

I attend a ceremony ANZAC day each year.

And as I think of what it means to me, my friend’s in tears.

Why do you cry on ANZAC day?

I just don’t understand.

My father isn’t serving in another war torn land,

I just don’t understand.

My mother is standing with me on the reflection lawn.

She doesn’t know how proud I am when she wears her uniform.

Why do you cry on ANZAC day?

I just don’t understand.

My mother isn’t serving in another war torn land,

I just don’t understand.

He says thank you as he walks with his child, hand in hand.

I’m beginning to understand, I should be thanking this man.

Why do you cry on ANZAC day?

I just don’t understand.

My father isn’t serving in another war torn land,

I just don’t understand.


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