Today is ANZAC Day for Australians and New Zealanders. A day we celebrate those who served in the wars to protect our country and others. It began as a symbol to remember those first Diggers who sailed to foreign shores to fight a war. The day they landed was April 25th, the year was 1915, the place Gallipoli.
The battles to control that rugged Turkish shoreline was badly thought out, but the ANZACS fought courageously for 8 months. They had the cliffs in front and the ocean behind, trapped as they were, they fought hard and received heavy casualties. The catastrophe that was Gallipoli brought together an nation's pride and showed the world that we may be small in number, but in heart we were giants.
Eventually, the military powers that be got them away from an impossible situation and the men sailed for England, where they would then assault the enemy on French soil and create more legends of courage and bravery.
Today, as every year, we went to watch the town parade and listen to the service at Bowral's cenotaph (pictured in 1999). This was doubly special as our eldest son, Jack, marched in the parade (wearing his grandfather's service medals), behind the returned service men, in his role of senior boys' school captain for Bowral High School. Jack and the senior girl captain laid a wreath on behalf of their school. My husband managed to take a few photos through the crowd and the rain (I'll upload them later). It seems that in the last few years every ANZAC Day has to have bad weather to go with it, but we didn't mind. We have warm coats and umbrellas and the chance to go home and have hot soup and coffee, what did the fighting men have all those years ago when it rained? So no one complained of the cold and weather.
ANZAC Day is a special day to commemorate those who never returned home to their loved ones and I always get emotional listening to the bugler play the Last Post.
To all those who served in war, those who came home and those who are buried on foreign soil. Thank you.
At the going down of the sun,
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.