I live in the Nation’s Capital. For me there is something extra special about significant days in Australian history when they are celebrated or noted in the Capital. Today is ANZAC Day – the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps Day. It’s a day of remembrance for Australian and New Zealand participation and loss in all wars. We particularly hold the memorial service on the 25th April at dawn every year, because it was on that date and time in 1915 that the ANZACs and allied troops stormed the beaches and hills at Gallipoli on the north eastern coast of Turkey on a site now known as ANZAC Cove. Gallipoli was their entry point to Turkey. The plan was to capture the area, and then proceed through the Dardanelles to overtake the then Constantinople, now known as Istanbul, a German ally.
Last year I was in Turkey and an Australian friend recommended that I go to ANZAC Cove. I was in two minds about it but actually in the end was very glad that I went. It’s something that I recommend for anyone – for me it’s up there with visiting Auschwitz, the beaches of Normandy, and other significant sites and memorials around the world that pay hommage to the lives lost at war. I’ll admit this is a sobering and pretty morbid aspect to travelling, but it’s so worthwhile, to see with my own eyes the sites that I’ve always heard about. Seeing the places in person makes it easier to comprehend what happened and the impact. In the case of ANZAC Cove I was compelled to record the area in a spiritual way, it’s a beautiful place and yet a grave site for over 9000 Australian and New Zealand soldiers. At the time I wrote about my stay in Turkey and this post includes images and commentary from my time at Gallipoli.
This morning I arrived at the beautiful and majestic Australian War Memorial to thousands of people making their way in to the grounds. Scaffolding had been set up to seat everyone, at first I thought beauty, a seat, I’ll take it! But then I realised I really wanted to get closer to the action, maybe even make a Kevin Rudd sighting, so it wasn’t going to happen sitting in the rafters. So I moved right to the front, where I could then make some pictures. I didn’t take my tripod deliberately because it’s disruptive and conspicuous. Flash wasn’t permitted, lucky for me anyway as I hate shooting with flash. So while I waited for the proceedings to get underway I made a few frames. Photography came second to my listening to the presenters, singing the national anthem, hearing the bugle and observing the one minute’s silence.
This was my neighbour for the ceremony called Anneliese.
I think it’s fabulous that this event is still recognised as important and relevant.
Younger generations need to learn about this, and maybe wars will become history for good one day.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them. All repeat: We will remember them. The Last Post, One Minute’s Silence The Last Post is a bugle call which signals the end of the day. It became incorporated into funeral and memorial services as a final farewell, and symbolises that the duty of the dead is over and that they can rest in peace. Lest we forget. All repeat: Lest we forget. Were you at the Dawn Service this morning? How did you find it? Feel free to drop a comment I’d love to hear your thoughts on this commemorative day.