The 25th April is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand. This day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. It is a commemoration of the sacrifice made by those young men who fought at Gallipoli in 1915, and also of all those 103,000 sons, brothers, fathers and others lost in war in the history of Australia. (This is not the time to mention all the indigenous Australians who were killed in an unacknowledged war by those colonists taking up the land here after settlement by Europeans in 1788).
Some of you have read my stories of Don, my step-father, a WWII veteran and a career army man. Especially in his later years Don became very active with his old regiment, he edited their bulletin until his death at 92 last December, and the highlight of his year was the annual get-together on ANZAC Day. They met before dawn in Sydney, marched to the Cenotaph for the dawn memorial service, then spent a lazy day eating, drinking and remembering. You will see him in the gallery with all his medals!
This morning we attended the Memorial Service at a tiny country memorial close to us here. The nicest thing is that here there is always a representation from the re-enactment of the Australian Light Horse Regiment. Don belonged to the 7th Division Cavalry and was fully trained on horseback. So today Stuart wore Don’s medals, and we joined perhaps a hundred people in the rain to remember, to sing, to pray there is never a war again. The singing was led by Fred, a veteran with a marvelous deep voice, we had a few laughs, the high school and primary school children laid wreaths, as did the mayor and other representatives. Then the public brought their flowers and bouquets. All the time the horses and riders stood by. Here are some photos you might enjoy.
You can find some of Don’s comical war stories at the links below:
and here is another very informative and beautiful post on ANZAC Day by Louise http://thesacredcave.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/lest-we-forget-anzac-day-2012/