Sunday, April 25, 2010


By this moment, first in New Zealand and then, a few hours later, from the East to the West of Australia, Dawn Services will have been held in every city, town and hamlet, commemorating the day and the hour in 1915 when the men of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps landed at ill-fated Gallipoli, bound for death and glory...

Soon – they're marshalling now – the ANZAC Day marches will begin (at least in this time zone).  I have fond memories of attending the Melbourne march back in 2006, was it, with an American friend: he was amazed at the fact that all returned servicemen march, together with current troops, bands, and so forth.  The Melbourne parade (beginning with several fellows drest as Australian cavalrymen of the Boer War) lasted for 3 hours!

It's 95 years since Gallipoli, and the days when you saw real ANZACs in the marches are now over; the last soldiers of WWI have gone to their reward; now those who fought in WWII are getting very old.  A sobering thought: as I've grown up, I've seen the last Diggers of the Great War fall: when I was a kid, taken by Dad to the March, those soldiers were only a little older than the Diggers of the Second World War are to-day.

Soon, I hope to go down town to attend the Launceston march (which begins at 10:15), and certainly to be at the Cenotaph for the 11am Service.  I feel it my civic duty.  "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." — "Lest we forget!"

No comments: