Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Anzac Day - The Good And The Bad

Anzac Day must be the easiest day of the year to get out of bed before five a.m. After watching a recreation of the Gallipoli campaign the night before, it felt good to be getting up. In the documentary they mentioned that the British and the French landed on other beaches in Turkey along with the Kiwis and Aussies. In all my time I had never heard that the French were involved. So much for being educated. I believe that there is a lot about the First World War that we will never be told.

Lest We Forget - A Poignant Reminder

They were expecting thirty thousand people at the War Memorial in Kings Park yesterday, despite it being only nine degrees. Beautiful morning however. On the large screens that were erected they played film with lots of footage regarding the intended Japanese invasion of Australia and how we Aussies had to fight in the jungles of New Britain, at the time, to repel them.

The Flame of Rememberance

Large crowd at the Flame of Rememberance

The ceremony is always professional and it was followed by a flyover by a Spitfire and then six biplanes. The War Memorial itself was closed for repair which was quite disappointing as they have been working on it for a long time. They announced a bus to take people to the Vietnam War Memorial in the park for another ceremony. Seeing as the Vietnam Vets weren't welcomed back to the country properly, perhaps as a result of us not winning the war, I thought that I would pay my respects. I seem to recall last year promising myself that I would make the effort.

Vietnam Memorial Pavilion

A few hundred people gathered for the ceremony. There was no public address system. Lots of people were drinking their coffee and seeming to enjoy themselves instead of paying their respects in solemnity. There was no bugler for the Last Post and Reveille (spelling?), instead they used a tape recording. We were asked to sing the national anthem but it was the slowest version I have ever heard and everybody sang out of time. Only a handful of people knew the second verse of Advance Australia Fair. There were quite a few Vietnam Vets from a Bikie club and I had some deep down respect for them as they have been through something most of us wouldn't even be able to watch on TV. Overall the ceremony was a little disappointing.

Gathering crowd at Vietnam Veterans' Memorial

Yu-Jin and I watched the Anzac Day march on the TV. Once I arrived home it was too late drive back to the city and find a spot to watch the march. Then we went to McDonalds for a snack and Yu-Jin raced around the playground with some other kids.

Then the real Anzac Day traditional began - Essendon vs Collingwood at the 'G. Essendon got up for a win and that made my day. Following the completion of said match I went to a friend's house so that we could go for a helicopter ride. I was five minutes early but they weren't home and I thought that they may have been confused and already gone to the heliport - a fenced-off area next to the Swan River just out of the city. I have a voucher for a 25% discount for four people. And I have promised Yu-Jin to give him a ride. We were going to do it yesterday but my friends were a bit late in getting to our house. As it turns out the helicopter was fully booked for the day so Yu-Jin and I played on the playground and had a look at a marshland via a boardwalk.


After tea we watch "Supernanny". It is interesting to have a TV show that shows how bad parenting leads to kids misbehaving - and it is Yu-Jin's favourite. He loves to talk about the "naughty room" or the "naughty step".
"If I had a naughty brother where would we put him when he was naughty?" he asked.
I think that we are a bit better at parenting after watching this show and Yu-Jin is a bit better at childing as he knows what will happen to him when he is naughty.

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