MrJ is a returned serviceman, having served for nine years in the Royal Australian Navy during the Vietnam days in the 60’s. We attended the dawn service at Darwin’s waterfront cenotaph and did themed-morning march ending up at the local RSL Club for lunch and a chance to catch up with old friends.
At 0645hs it was still pitch black dark, just like it would have been for so many waiting to do battle, except the cenotaph was lit by a flood light. In the quiet of the darkness a huge crowd had gathered; local people and tourists, all to pay homage to those who had served and to those who had lost their lives in battle. The day was early but the air was already thick and warm; the trickles of perspiration slid down my back as I stood in silence, in the dark, thinking of my father who had been caught up with the magic of the Territory during his WWII service in the NT.It was not until late during the morning ANZAC march that I go a better idea of the number of people on the street and the contingents that made up the march.
ANZAC Day is one of Australia’s most important national commemorative occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC Day is not used to demonstrate power, continue feuds, or glorify war. ANZAC Day is simply a time for Australians to remember the anguish of war, build bridges with past enemies, and praise the character of soldiers who did it tough, but showed great character in the face of adversity.
The Faces of ANZAC DAY
"Let no-one say the past is dead, the past is all about us and within"(Oodgeroo)