Friday, April 25, 2008

Anzac Day 2008

Australia's day of national remembrance is held on the 25th of April each year. It represents the day, figuratively speaking, that Australia (and New Zealand) became a national as it was the first time, in 1915, that it had gone to war as its own country and not for Britain. The fact that the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) were still commanded by inept British leaders is beside the fact.

Every year I pay my respects for those that fought to maintain the beliefs and freedoms that I now use. The day starts with a pre-dawn visit to the State War Memorial in Kings Park. It's the only day, other than Christmas Day, where so many people get up so early. Prior to 6am we are shown footage and provided with commentary on a battle that Australian and other allies fought in. At six the formal ceremony begins with wreath laying and a speech by a prominent military officer. It was Commodore Shandler this year, I believe. There was no cannon firing this year but we were treated to a flyover by a Roulette and a formation of biplanes.


They shall grow not old
as we that are left grow old

Age shall not weary them
nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
we will remember them.


The playing of the Last Post is more spine-tingling than watching any horror movie (Miky and I watched "The Eye" from Hong Kong last night).

Following the dawn service I did my fruit and veg shopping before returning home to have a nice hot breakfast. Even made breakfast in bed for the missus - Anzac Day fills me with pride and some adrenalin. She looks after me every day so it is the least I can do. After brekkie the boy and I attended the Anzac Day Parade in Perth. I'm very glad that he was happy to go and enjoyed himself. There were some old diggers marching and it was a lovely day.

I found it rather ironic that, at this stage, this is the second wettest April on record, being only 3mm short of the record, and with four days with rain forecast to finish off the month, that it didn't rain. It is traditional for it to rain on Anzac Day.

Digger showing us how to have a shave digger-style

There certainly weren't too many survivors from the Normandy D-Day Landings that marched. Numbers were thin amongst the over 80s. It is sad to see their numbers dwindling. The march was almost as disorganised as the Gallipoli landing as you were unable to tell which line was going to march and the diggers themselves didn't seem to know either.

Just to round off a great day after preparing a roast vegetable lunch (haven't I been a good boy today?) I get to sit down and watch Essendon play Collingwood in the traditional Anzac Day blockbuster at the MCG. Now, I was thinking at six o'clock this morning when eight magpies landed on the Cenotaph at War Memorial and started warbling that that might be an omen for the match. The were already "crowing" about winning it. And so it turned out. To the tune of 73 points no less. Ruined a good day of paying respects for those that have sacrificed so much for our way of life. And the dishing out has begun already. And I so deserve it.


Anonymous said...

Great post!! Have a wonderful weekend!! Annette

James said...

I dunno Hammy, my day turned out great, my footy team beat this really crap side by 73 points, Oh! thats right it was YOUR footy team. Such a pity that a nice bloke like you supports such a team of LOSERS. Go the Pies!

Susan Ham said...

Oooh, Jamse, I just KNEW you would give him 'stick' over that match!! I think Collingwood sucks. In fact, I think they all do.

Hammy said...

I thought that you were sticking up for me mum saying that Collingwood sucks but it appears that you were sticking a knife into all of us. Figuratively speaking.

Loppy said...

Nice blog Hammy. Good to see people getting out and about on the 25th.
Just in reference to some of your pics, medals worn on the right (viewers left) are in remembrance of someone who has died (usually a family member) and are not those of the wearer.

Hammy said...

A comment from the Super Lop. Wow.

Anonymous said...

I quite enjoyed reading your blog shame you didn't read it before posting it, as when i went to school NOW was not spelt with a K
"that I know use"
ok so have agood day........ Moose

Hammy said...

Thanks Moose. I'm a bit of a stickler for spelling so your comment, constructive as it is, is gratefully accepted. You'll be happy to know that the change has been made.

Anonymous said...

Well done on the site, And I like to say thankyou from all service men and woman from all services, I cannot believe the rest of your viewers all they think about is football. Anzac Day is to reflect on the sacrafice soldiers from past and present made to give everyone the freedom and Peace you all have today, If it was'nt for these members from all services you would be living in a fucked up society. Anzac Day is to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, Not to think about football.