Sunday, 25 April 2010

Anzac Day

Anzac Day again, so soon.  A day to remember those gone before, those who served in many theatres of war, those who still serve overseas in places of great danger.

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.

3 comments:

2paw said...

It's not a holiday here tomorrow, once again, we're going it alone: no public holiday if ANZAC Day is on a weekend, and I think that's the way it should be!!

Lynne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynne said...

As a Girl Guide and Ranger, whose mother was the Guide Captain, I attended several dawn services. Mum always woke us and gave us egg nog - not the most exciting way to start one's birthday!

I loved the dawn services though - the sun coming up, the creeping cold, the silence, the haunting sound of the Last Post being played and the band playing hymns.

Mum's most memorable ANZAC Day was giving birth to her first-born; she said it was the middle of a heat wave (it was, according to dad, a typical autumn day). Being conceived in England, I had to prove I was an Autralian and timed my arrival perfectly - 12:05pm!

Sorry about the previous comment - I pressed publish instead of preview then noticed my spelling errors!