Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lest We Forget: Anzac Day

(First of all, in case you're curious, I've added an update with photos to the last post about the almost-dead, sunken boat.)

Anzac Day. When we scheduled our few days in Brisbane, Australia, between Sydney and Magnetic Island, we were totally unaware that Australia would be celebrating one of their most important holidays during our stay. Rank it up there just behind Christmas.

We arrived on Wednesday evening and left Saturday morning. On Friday was the holiday. It
is commemorated by Australia and New Zealand on April 25 every year "to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I." (Wiki)

Talk about a fabulous war memorial!

What surprised us more than anything was how looooong the parades were, both in time and length. AND how many people were out to watch and applaud!

Everywhere there were reminders that this was a time to...remember! Poppies are the symbol for remembrance.

Especially the old-timers remembered.

The Vietnam vets looked just like ours in the States and brought back too many memories of post-traumatic stress disorder. But I think these guys looked a bit less stressed than ours?

Without question, there was pride, pomp and circumstance. Donica and I both had tears in our eyes when we saw the patriotism. We mentioned it later to a British couple who agreed that even in their country they don't see it like we did in Australia. It gave us pause!

(And yes, that left front man really was a giant!)

Lest we forget!

There is no way in the world the Australians or New Zealanders will ever forget their war heroes. They are a breed set apart, for sure. They do not have our own history. They are proud not to forget!

Tomorrow morning Donica and I fly back to Atlanta from Amsterdam on two separate planes but at almost the same time. She'll then fly to NYC on Monday for the rest of the week...before we start gearing up for the big wedding the following week in Hawaii! Daughter Amy is definitely in count-down stage, as are we!


  1. How lucky you were to be at the right place at the right time! Great picts. Was the sky really that blue?

    You must be really excited about the wedding (just as Amy must be) :)

  2. It is very good to see that a country is proud of their war heroes, you have put a very nice overvieuw of that big occasion, thank you so much for sharing.
    The big count down starts now for you, Amy, Dennis and not to forget your big Nicholas, he must be thrilled. (Being with you again when the both of you be flying to Hawaii)
    Please enjoy it, I am sure you will, Hartelijke groeten.

  3. Did you eat any Anzac Cookies?
    They are delicious!! I brought the recipe home from Aussie.... don't know if the recipe was actually allowed out of the country or not, but the Customs Man didn't ask me so I didn't tell him.....

  4. Oh wow - that looks like something amazing to attend!

    And the wedding... how cool that it is coming.

    i'm dead tired but wanted to say hello.

  5. CS: Yes, the sky was really that blue...with some PS enhancements, I'm sure. :) We were so lucky to get sun as soon as we left Sydney! And yes, we are VERY excited about the wedding! All of us. :)

    Astrid: I wonder if Holland has the same kind of pride as the Australians? Make sure I ask you some day! One of our biggest anticipations about the wedding is exactly all the time we will have with Nicholas, since we'll be his "caregivers." What a memory for us all.

    Ex-S: Anzac cookies?? WHAT Anzac cookies? We never heard anything about them. OH NO! How could we have possibly missed them? That's what happens when you don't have a clue, I guess. :(

    ET: These are exciting days right now, for sure!!! :)

  6. I'll never forget watching "Gallipoli" years ago, it had a huge impact on me. Mel Gibson's first big movie, I think. As Don says, those who decide to go to war should go themselves and fight or send one of their family, then maybe wars wouldn't get started. But the poor and powerless often have to go and get mown down for the big guys. So depressing.

    But how cool that you got to partake in this event!

    And the next big event! Won't that be a blast!! I'm so excited for them, and I'll be a mouse on the beach, well maybe a crab.

  7. So interesting! Thanks for sharing that with us.

    And wow, the Big Day will be here so soon. I bet everyone just can't wait. I'm sure it will be lovely.

  8. Ou! After reading Ex-S's comment, i remember a friend made some Anzac cookies before, they are yummy!

    Wow Ginnie, people say I don't sit still...we'll I've got nothing compared to you! :) Aside from Canada, I haven't traveled outside of the country for 9 years. Trying to convince Jimmy to go to Amsterdam since he's been working with that client. But Australia, Amsterdam, NYC, Hawaii...all within a month...that's amazing and I'm a tad envious!

  9. You always find great photo ops! I guess when you get around like you and Donica, you are going to see things we can only dream about! Nice photos!!

  10. It's wonderful when countries remember their war heroes. This looks like a great occasion and you have shared it with us through your eyes which I am grateful.
    Not long for the big day, how wonderful that will be for you all. Amy,Dennis and young Nicholas must be so excited:)