Wednesday, April 25, 2007
ANZAC DAY TODAY
Australia's day of remembrance for our war dead: Australia's most solemn day. Commemoration began at dawn, as it traditionally does. A small excerpt from a news report below:
Thousands of people have braved a wet morning around the nation to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country at the Anzac Day dawn service. Masses assembled at the Cenotaph at Martin Place in Sydney just before 4.30am (AEST) for the ceremony to mark the ill-fated landing at Gallipoli 92 years ago. War veterans were in attendance, but the early morning crowd was a predominantly young one.
Naval Commander of Australia, Rear Admiral Davyd Thomas, said the Anzac story resonated with so many Australians because it was about ordinary people. .. "The wonderful thing about the Anzac story is that it's not a story that glorifies war. "It's a story about ordinary people struggling to overcome their fears and frailties but achieving extraordinary things."
He urged the crowd to direct their thoughts to the approximately 3500 Australian servicemen and women deployed in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Israel, Lebanon, East Timor and the Solomon Islands. "The Anzac tradition continues through them," he said. "Many of them were in harm's way this morning. Their service is still selfless, the mateship is as deep, the teamwork just as vital."
The early morning crowd stretched over three blocks and spilled into nearby streets, while a large screen was used to broadcast events at the Cenotaph for those who couldn't get close enough.... At 4.50am (AEST), a lone bugler sounded the last post. It was followed by a minute's silence during which the only sound that could be heard was the pattering of falling rain.
I cannot resist noting that the "drought" was yet again in evidence