Inspiration, San Francisco, Sydney, Thoughts & Opinions, Writing
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Anzac Day

I am winding up my last week here in Sydney before I head home to San Francisco via Singapore. I have been enjoying the frenzy of activity that usually comes with the wrapping up life in one spot: impromptu coffees, trips to the footy, dinners with old friends.

I am also in the throes of trying to work out the most effective way to get all of the stuff home with me (posting? shipping? excess baggage?) but I won’t know until I actually just pack. You see, the issue of packing is really quite mundane, but I am only concerning myself with this because if I stop to consider how sad I am to leave my loved ones, this whole last week will be miserable. Onwards, Bec, with strength and filing the happy memories away for the future.

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Tomorrow is Anzac Day and it’s a big day on the Australian social calendar. It’s the one day of the year we pay tribute to all those who have served Australia and New Zealand in battle. The day starts with the Dawn Service at thousands of venues around the nation, and a few other sites worldwide (such as Gallipoli in Turkey). I love the tradition, the history of this day. I love reciting the ‘Ode of Remembrance’:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

There’s something about a crowd of people repeating the last line of the Ode, and the lone bugler playing the Last Post that makes me cry.
Every.
Single.
Time.
Just beautiful.

A Digger is flanked by two young men displaying the medals of a relatives in the Anzac Day Parade, 2011.

A Digger is flanked by two young men displaying the medals of a relatives in the Anzac Day Parade, 2011.

[Source]

Following the Dawn service at the Cenotaph in Martin Place, there’s a televised parade featuring the vets and those currently serving, and the families of those who served. Everyone heads to the pub for a beer and a yarn, and then there’s plenty of BBQs, barefoot bowls or footy games to watch. Tomorrow, there’s even AFL being played in New Zealand: the Swans take on St Kilda in Wellington, so I’m looking forward to seeing that. It’s my favourite Aussie holiday, alongside Melbourne Cup day.

I’ll raise a glass of Waterfords Blood Orange to the Anzacs tomorrow, and enjoy the day with family and friends. Lest we forget.

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3 Comments

  1. jillacox says

    Tomorrow will be my first Anzac Day! There’s a Dawn Service on the beach just down the street from my place that I’m planning to attend. I wasn’t really sure if Anzac DAy is “celebrated” or “observed” but it seems like once the service is over, everyone is ready to party. At least that’s what my workmates led me to believe with the question, “Are you drinking tomorrow?” 😉

  2. Greg AKA Glenn says

    Definitely observed but enjoy the beers and the two-up. Maybe you need to explain two-up Bec.

  3. Hi, just came across this blog when I was looking for something else, but I read what you said about the Bugler. And when I first joined the Army, at Kapooka the Last Post plays at 1700hrs every day, and it signals the end of the working day and time for dinner (However as a recruit, the working day doesn’t finish until 2200hrs), and when you hear the Last Post play at 1700hrs, its actually the best thing you’ve heard all day and you get super happy because you hungry as. But then, it’s strange how that same sound, that brings hundreds of recruits happiness at 1700hrs. When played before dawn, can be so sad and deeply moving. Just a funny contrast I noticed.

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