Anzac Day at Home

Watching the Anzac Day dawn service on TV

Back in 1919 the observance of Anzac Day was held in quarantine. Here we are in 2020 and the same conditions prevail. But the Anzac spirit lives on and is remembered.

On the TV we watched the laying of the wreaths in the Canberra War Memorial. I suddenly remembered how, in my childhood, I would be sent out in the morning of the day before Anzac Day to gather bracken, often wet from the morning dew or an overnight shower. My mother would often accompany me, showing me how to get the longest stems. Back at our long table on the enclosed veranda, I would help my mother bind the stiff, leafy bracken into the circle of a wreath. Then large, glossy leaves would be wired and fastened deep into the bracken wreath, layered and overlapped like scales on a dragon. Wreaths today are on polystyrene circles, pristine and white. I miss the organic nature of my mother’s wreaths, which could decay into the soil, somehow appropriate.

The Last Post
Driveway remembrance. Jeff wears his own service medal, his father’s and two great-uncles.
Our son is in his own uniform.

We gathered in the pre-dawn, each in our driveways. We had our portable radio. Neighbours over the road turned on the service on their car radio. We waved to one another across the division of the bitumen between us.

This year we observe Anzac Day where we are, at home

The minute’s silence was accompanied by the sounds of birds waking for the day. Kookaburras called to one another. Reveille!

In 1919 it was the Spanish flu. In 2020 it’s Covid-19. How will we be celebrating Anzac Day in 2121?

3 thoughts on “Anzac Day at Home

    1. Thank you, it was very much a part of my childhood. i liked Anzac Day, but being sent out to gather bracken at other times of the year meant someone had died and my mother was preparing a funeral wreath. Often I wanted to know who it was for, before i would go out to harvest.
      We can hope that next year’s Anzac Day dawn service will see us all together again, on the field above the sea in our village.

      Like

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