Monday, April 25, 2005

No rising sun at dawn

No, the sun did not burst onto the scene, but instead the increasing light created a pink surround to the Shrine of Remembrance on this Anzac Day.

It was our first dawn ceremony and as expected, it was very beautiful and very moving.

For us it was just a fifteen minute walk to the shrine. For many it was a much more effort, but 30,000 made their way there.

Standing just a few feet in front of me was a teenager with his cap on backwards at a slight angle. I thought, 'Is this what the diggers fought for? So that you can imitate Americans and wear your cap like that?' It was a quick thought. That is exactly what they fought for. So that he could wear his cap any way he liked.

But I doubt that they had such high minded thoughts. Travel, adventure, excitement, the exotic, better pay. But no doubt mixed in with those thoughts was one about protecting their country and hence their way of life.

What did annoy me was the constant flashes from cameras and later in the parade, teenagers (and some older people) wearing tee shirts and the like in what is a fairly formal march. It is great that they want to participate, but they really need to make a dignified effort with their clothing. I like Jimmy Hendrix, but his portrait on a tee in a remembrance march? No, don't think so. And, I hated singing that ridiculous word 'girt' in our national anthem.

I don't know if I will ever go again, but if I do, I now know to get there by 5.30 and stand on the walkway as far forward as is comfortable. If you are there by 5.30, you won't be too far back. It started about 5.55 and finished about 6.25.

Do go everyone, at least once and take your kiddies if you have them.

1 comment:

  1. I watched the Anzac Day cerimony from gallipoli on TV. It was quite a moving occasion, and the setting was dramatic to say the least. One thing did disturb me however: I thought that Helen Clark was most accomodating in her speech, addresssing the ANZACS as a combined force: both Australian and New Zealander. Our Prime Minister however nary mentioned the New Zealanders, which I felt was rather out of keeping with the occasion, and highlighted Helen Clark was the more considerate and less paraochial of the two speakers. I felt slightly embarrassed that our PM was so openly parochial. In my mind it made us all sound a little selfish.

    I can agree with the deterioration of the dress code at important public events. I remember when we wore our scout uniform to Anzac Day at the War memorial in Canberra, or we wore something "good" or "neat and tidy" (parents deffinitions). I think that you are demonstrating a certain lack of respect when you do not dress appropiately. Admittedly, I would have been wearing jeans and a jacket, but it still would have bee neat and tidy (at least my parents did teach me something).

    m!key

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Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.