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Anzac week

 Posted by at 11:50 am  Uncategorized
Apr 282015

What was it all about?

This year Anzac Day was bigger than ever, being the 100th anniversary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli. People flocked to services all over the country. In Eltham, the scouts and cubs had a sleep-over in the hall before attending the service. It was a cold, wet morning. I waited in anticipation for the broadcast of the service in Gallipolli - an event that was years in the planning. I held my breath a little as our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, began his speech. What would he make of it? Would he manage to capture meaning of the day? Surely, on this auspicious occasion, words would be spoken that would clarify what it was all about. Mr Abbott spoke the usual words 'our nation came of age', and I am struggling. Likewise, the phrases about sacrifice for our country. He moves on to other conflicts, listing the many we have been engaged in up to the present day. This somehow distracts from the current event. I listen to the speeches by the Turkish prime minister and the Prince of Wales, which are much more focused. Prince Charles reads a diary excerpt, which encapsulates the personal meaning for the many families of those killed in that war. It speaks of the effects that carry on down through the generations. We are taken away from the bigger picture - its justification, strategies and politics - and can focus on a common meaning: grief and loss - for those who were injured and those who never came home. At last, something we can all understand.  

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