You may have noticed I haven’t written for a while. I guess between Easter, work and life I’ve just been preoccupied. But today is a day that deserves a post.
Anzac Day, 25 April. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. It’s commemorated every year by thousands of people all over the world. Anzac Day is recognised in two different ways. Commemorative services are held at dawn, the time of the original landing at Gallipoli. Later in the day, ex-servicemen and women will take part in marches through most major cities.
For me Anzac Day is a day to reflect and remember all those men and women who have fought and are still fighting so we can live in this beautiful county. My dear Aunty was a civilian nurse in the Vietnam War. Every year she heads to Melbourne and marches with pride. I’ve been to watch and it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. The service men and women who march are just beaming with pride. Their families walking along the path with them, strangers clapping and cheering as they march past. This is the exact respect our service men and women deserve.
Each year when I go to the dawn service, I look around at the crowd and can’t help but smile. The diversity of the people who attend the service is amazing. Older men in their suits, with their medals hanging proudly from their chest. Young men and women who have managed to get themselves out of bed before 11 to pay their respects and the young kids, sitting on their dads shoulders so they can see. It’s a day that brings people together to remember those who have fallen. The service it’s self can be very eerie. The hymns that are sung, the placing of the wreaths and of course the Last Post. I find I get a bit overwhelmed and overcome with emotion at times during the service. You can’t help but think of the fallen soldiers and their families. Not just from the past, but for the present as well. Of course you then have the great tradition once the service has ended of having a cup of coffee with a little ‘nip’ in it (alcohol). Having a cheeky drink with the service men and women afterwards is a huge privilege. Hearing the stories about their time in the service is lovely. I can’t imagine what some of these men and women went through and it’s a real eye opener into the strength some people have.
So today, I pay my respect to all the service men and women in Australia and New Zealand. We owe our lives to so many and we should all be thankful for them everyday. Enjoy the day, have a little wine between friends and Lest We Forget.