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Anzac Day 2014   

Posted by haresfur - May 2, 2014 - 1:21am

Set my alarm for 5:30 AM and managed to roust myself for the ANZAC dawn service.  My neighbourhood used to be its own borough  but was amalgamated with the city across the railway tracks.  We are generally considered to be the wrong side of the tracks.  In the past things could get a bit tense.  A boy from one side didn’t want to be caught walking a girl from the other side home.  The bridge where the road crosses over the rail line was neutral ground and couples could often be found underneath having a pash on Saturday nights.

There were several hundred people gathered at the Borough memorial when I arrived and they continued to trickle in.  Not as many children as I remember from past years but certainly more people than just the veterans with their medals. 

World War I has a special place in the Australian psyche – in a different way from the US or Britain or even Canada.  The US came into the war very late and although they lost many people, I think WWII was really America’s war.  The British lost many men to the horrors of trench warfare, too.  The Canadians shared with the Australians and New Zealanders, the dubious role of traveling across the world to provide additional cannon fodder.  But the Great War was when Australians truly began to feel that they were their own country.  I guess the same is true of the Kiwis.  ANZAC Day is our main Memorial Day or Remembrance Day and the core symbol is the campaign at Gallipoli and especially ANZAC Cove. 

The Dawn service comes from the time for preparing for an assault or to repel an assault in some of the bloodiest, miserable, and most futile fighting the world has ever seen (although I suppose a case could be made for equal horror during the American Civil War).  Dawn was time of tension, fear, and reflection.  The feeling among attendees is that getting up at that time is a tiny sacrifice to honour a greater one.  The service centred on the personal through readings from the time.  Letters home from soldiers, but also an address from Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, first president of Turkey, and former commander of the Ottoman forces.  The battle was in many ways the start of modern Turkey and forms a bond of independence among the former enemies.

After the service I headed to the Band Hall for instant coffee with a tot of Bundaberg rum (the only way to drink that horrible stuff) and Anzac Biscuits.  A time to visit with the neighbours, say hello to Jack, the 95 year old former mayor, and well, reflect on the generations that made this community what it is. 

7 comments on this journal entry.
Resident oddball
p4jkafla Avatar

Location: New England, USA

Posted: May 2, 2014 - 11:58am

This is a historical event that I know nothing about. Thanks for bringing it up.
About three bricks shy of a load
steeler Avatar

Location: Perched on the precipice of the cauldron of truth

Posted: May 2, 2014 - 10:06am

Nice observance. Thanks.

miamizsun Avatar

Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)

Posted: May 2, 2014 - 9:52am

by reflecting i hope that people never forget the tragedy and horror of war

may it help keep the peace



Antigone Avatar

Location: A house, in a Virginian Valley

Posted: May 2, 2014 - 6:19am

Thank you for expanding my knowledge.

Shine On.
Coaxial Avatar

Location: 543 miles west of Paradis,1491 miles east of Paradise

Posted: May 2, 2014 - 6:04am

I eat pints
ScottFromWyoming Avatar

Location: Powell

Posted: May 2, 2014 - 5:34am


BlueHeronDruid Avatar

Location: planting flowers

Posted: May 2, 2014 - 1:59am