Sunday, 25 April 2010
I prefer to take a simple view of the day. I'm not one for talking about the birthday of a nation or other such ideas. I think it good that we teach about the horrors of war to the younger generation. Methods of warfare have changed much since 1915, but the horror is still there, man's inhumanity to man, as Shakespeare called it.
I've never attended a Dawn Service and it's a while since I've attended the march in Sydney. I think these are both good things to happen. What horrifies me is the increasing commercialism of the day. An Anzac day sale? Hideous, as is the Anzac day football match with its emphasis on selling tickets. Emphasis perhaps on making a profit, rather than on the fleeting acknowledgment of the day at the beginning of the match.
Anzac day has always been celebrated solely on its actual date. This year there is a public holiday Monday. Just so wrong in my opinion. Any excuse for a bludge.
My most memorable Anzac Day was spent in a very small Central West country town, village rather. Every male gathered outside town and marched, rather walked, some were quite elderly into town to the war memorial that most villages subscribed to after WWI. They gathered in the sun, veterans, old men, those from other wars and those too who had never enlisted nor needed to. Children hung around on the outside of the group and a few stray cattle dogs and kelpies sniffed around the actual memorial. Patients from the tiny local hospital struggled out to swell the size of the small group. There was a short but moving service, then as one, the ranks formed again and they marched off leaving the dogs to anoint the memorial obelisk.