Yesterday was the 100th ANZAC day commemorating all Australian and New Zealand troops who have served overseas. I do my best to get to a service, whether it’s dawn or a little later as I’ve known many men and women who’ve served overseas, but primarily because it’s the day of the year I most associate with my Grandfather, who died 14 years ago. He served in the second world war before coming home and starting his family. They played taps at his funeral, and I can remember all the servicemen standing, and crying so hard it hurt. I can’t hear taps without welling up, so I am always a bit of a mess at ANZAC services.
Anyway, this year we were away camping with our homeschool group, out in the middle of nowhere. My brothers family and I tossed around the idea of driving back into civilization for the service, but then we decided to have our own. Commemorate in a way I know Grandad would have respected.
There is a massive hill at this camp ground, and in the pre-dawn chill, my brother, sister-in-law, nephews and two of my daughters** tramped up to the top with a lantern to shed a little light on the way. We stood at the peak of the hill and watched light bathe the hills and valleys, we watched the mist rising, we listened as that moment came when there was enough sun to spark life into the land and the birds began to chirp and the sheep to baa. It was majestic.
Often the service ends with planes passing over the memorial. Well, we had a flock of birds pass by, creating a natural end to our commemoration.
And so today I give you my view on ANZAC morning. The photos don’t do it justice, but I have the memory firmly in mind.
*the third would have come but she’d spent the night in another families tent and I didn’t want to wake anyone up.