Saturday, 26 April 2008

Anzac DayWhen we went to bed last night, it was around the time for Australians to get up and go to the dawn service on the other side of the world. And we thought of you all down there, in the cool of the autumn morning, and wished we could be there for this day of days.
David and I both had grandfathers at Gallipoli, and in Perth, David has worn his grandad's medals on the day.
In San Diego, the Royal Australian Navy observes Anzac Day with a well-attended service on the USS Midway.
This is a de-commissioned aircraft carrier that is now permanently docked in the bay at San Diego. It's so enormous that standing on the foredeck for this service was like being four or five storeys up.It was a short but moving ceremony, with all the traditional components, attended by lots of US and Australian military and brass, and the odd New Zealander. We even had a highly-decorated US rear admiral, who gave the reading.
By coincidence, two huge (and loud) US Navy helicopters provided the fly-past, just at the perfect moment after the Last Post. We sang along to recordings of the national anthems of Australia, New Zealand and the US, and I was a little sad that our recording of Advance Australia Fair was the same maudlin Julie Anthony version that gets trotted out and played in at the MCG every September for the footy Grand Final. Honest.
But that's by the by. After the ceremony, everyone retired to the Bondi where we put on a barbecue lunch — with real pavlova for dessert — that's still going strong at almost 6pm, David tells me!

3 comments:

Meg said...

what an interesting place to observe ANZAC Day - was there any two up? (I lost my allocated $15 in about 15 minutes...)

Natalie said...

A long time ago I read about Gallipoli, and saw the movie of the same name... it was heartbreaking. I did not know about Anzac Day, so thank you for the introduction. I'm glad that an appropriate and moving recognition of the day was made and I would like to remember it for next year. My Navy brother just returned (safely) from his deployment... huge sigh of relief.

Fairlie said...

What a great way to spend Anzac Day. And to finish up with pavlova? Perfect.