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!