Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Remembering Remembrance Day

Not only is the 11/11 the anniversary of the day when our Queen through our Governor General sacked our Prime Minister, the recently departed from this Earth Gough Whitlam, it is also Remembrance Day.

I needed a hair cut and I told R and he said he would come with me. At some point he asked if I wanted to be in town for eleven o'clock and I thought he asked should we leave for town at eleven o'clock. Oh, he exclaimed a short time later. It is already 10.35. We'd better go. Why I asked? For the thing that is on at the Town Hall at eleven. Luckily we did not have to wait long for a tram and made it with five minutes to spare.

There were people on the Town Hall balcony and standing about blow. At a minute to 11 police crossed into the centre of street accompanied by a bugler and stopped the traffic and trams. Most pedestrians stopped crossing the roads and walking. A few seconds later planes flew over in formation and at 11 the bugler played followed by a minute's silence, well as silent as a city can be. Halfway through the bugle a large cannon being fired at the Shrine thundered. I thought it a bit rude of people to keep snapping with their cameras. Mine went into my pocket for the minute's silence. After the minute and another bar or two from the bugle, as if a switch was thrown, everything started moving again.

The crowd in anticipation.


The out of formation flying machine is not man made. Capturing the clock showing the time was also accidental.


There appear to by propellers on these planes, so I guess they are not too new.


The bugler plays and then after a silent minute, it was all over.


This is an interesting graphic from The Age. At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, sunlight shines through an opening in the top of the Shrine of Remembrance and lights up the word 'love' inside the shrine in the sanctuary. Daylight saving buggered that right up, so a couple of mirrors were installed and once again the light shone at 11.


To the shops, I cried and the futility of war was quickly forgotten in consumerism and personal grooming.

15 comments:

  1. That Town Hall corner looks a lot like ours, for a minute I thought I was looking at Adelaide. We don't get things like flyovers and coppers stopping traffic. I even forgot about the day completely as I scrubbed away at a sink full of dishes.

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    1. River, our Victorian era buildings in our respective towns are quite similar. There would be a service at your large war memorial though.

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  2. I was on duty at the hospital and in charge of the television in Admissions. I switched the television to the ABC for the coverage of the service from the War Memorial in Canberra and was somewhat bemused when the Last Post and silence were done dusted just before 11am. I then switched over to one of the commercial stations whose coverage was from the Cenotaph in Sydney which thankfully was running precisely to the 11am moment.

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    1. Victor, I am glad you said bemused and not amused. That is just not funny at all. How could that have been so badly mucked up?

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  3. Our recognitons/acknowledgement of Remembrance Day are so much more muted than in some other countries.
    And perhaps I am a better Orstrayan than I knew, the almost total absence of paraderie seems to me to be appropriate.

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    1. Elephant
      in the 1950s in Melbourne, when our fathers were not long home from WW2, I remember standing in silence for 2 minutes every Armistice Day. When did the custom stop? When did it start again?

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    2. EC, I agree. We should remember them but not turn it into some sort of party celebration.

      Hels, I think I remember it being 2 minutes and not 1 minute. But did the silence ever stop?

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  4. Andrew, definitely we have forgotten about the war because we live in the comfortable world. But we can't remember it is very important for future generations especially here in Europe..

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    1. Gosia, I think it quite widely recognised in France and Netherlands.

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  5. I was home listening to the radio so I stopped for a minute, having just finished reading "In Pale Battalions" I was more aware of the world wars than normal.
    Merle.........

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    1. Merle, how very appropriate reading for the day.

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  6. I went silent at 11am, a wonder for me!
    Reading your post brought to mind how rude some people are, or maybe they are not aware of the significance of the end of WW1.
    Great to know that a mirror was put in the Shrine of Remembrance, I be that is touching to see the sun through it.

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    1. WA, my head is already aching at the thought of your chatter. :-P

      The mirrors just reflect down to get the timing of the light correct.

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  7. It's quite something when in the middle of the busy city and all stops and the only sound is the bugle.. Get goosebumps just thinking about it... and then it's back to business :)

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    1. It is quite moving Grace.

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