Monday, 29 April 2013

ANZAC morning at the Shrine

Debated back and forth all day Wednesday, whether to go to the ANZAC Day Dawn service at the Shrine yesterday morning. I knew it wasn't going to rain but I had a date Wednesday night, I needed to sleep but had a PT session later in the morning anyway, ...long story short, after my date ended at 1am, I decided to head in. I stopped by home to change clothes and waste a bit of time, ended up on POF for a while which was entertaining.

Years past, I'd headed to the service but not stayed because it either started raining on the way in, I couldn't get a carpark or the mass of people was just too much. This time I changed strategy, I'd get in early, get some photos and get myself a good spot to watch from. Well in theory it worked. I got in there at 3am, no-one else was there! I got the best park, as close to the Shrine as I could legally get (they'd closed off so many parking areas) and after a disagreement with an over eager parking marshal thinking he knew best, started the walk up to the Shrine. From my car it took 10 minutes to walk up, that was with a few stops for photos (mentioning now as it will come up later). It was so dark on the forecourt, the only light was the one highlighting the Shrine itself and a slight glow from the Eternal Flame between bodies huddled together. 

So after a bit of wandering around and more photos, I found a good spot to watch from, right up the front. So this was the hard bit, I didn't bring a chair, it became too crowded to consider sitting on the ground, so I stood there, in the same damn spot from 3:30amish till 6:30amish. My feet were so so sore, there was a couple of times I thought about leaving but I'd already stuck it out this long. And I couldn't really try and work my way out through the massive crowd with the service was on. So the host I guess you'd call him, delved a little into the history of the ANZAC's, a schoolgirl spoke, as did a returning Afghanistan soldier. Tears of course welled in my eyes at the sound of The Last Post, it's the soulfulness of the bugle I think. Guns were fired and 30 minutes later the service was over. I was expecting more, not sure what, just more.
So now I can cross that one off my bucket list. I've done it, doubt I'll do it again.

Back to the 10 minute walk from my car thing for a sec, I mentioned it because, believe this! With the amount of people attending the service, all leaving at once, it took me well over 30minutes to get back to my car. How nuts is that!?!

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