We initially planned on being at Gallipoli for the Centenary, however, things didn’t quite go as planned. So instead, we decided to do a mini road trip to Canberra ACT on Saturday, 25 April 2015 for the annual ANZAC dawn service.
We left our house just after midnight and drove 3 hours to Australia’s Capital. We got home from work quite late that Friday evening and literally had 20 minutes sleep.
But this year’s dawn service was different. And it wasn’t because it would be our first time to attend a service. This year is the 100th year Anniversary of the Gallipoli landings – 100 years since the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed in Gallipoli in 1915.
100 years. A century. Let that sink in for a moment.
Arriving at the Australian War Memorial, there was a somber mood in the air. It’s hard to explain. I guess you had to be there. I could only imagine what it would’ve been like at Gallipoli that morning.
Walking around the site at 7°C (44.6°F), head-to-toe in what I could only describe as snow gear, we found ourselves sitting next to Margaret – a war widow who’s husband fought in World War II, and grandfather who fought in World War I. Margaret shared with us her love of travel, and how solo travel has taught her many life lessons.
Every year, Margaret would attend the dawn service with a family member or friend, but this year, she found herself attending alone. Having us there next to her, I think she felt more at ease and we were glad to have shared that moment with her, be able to provide her some sort of comfort. Margaret shed some tears during the service and I wanted to reach out and put my arms around her.
I cried hearing The Last Post.
There was a reported 128,000 people who made the trip to the Australian War Memorial that morning. Out of respect, I didn’t take that many photos so instead, here are some courtesy of the Australian War Memorial – view here.
The handful of photos that I took with my phone were from before and after the service:
LEST WE FORGET
Feature Image: Flickr Australian War Memorial – Photograph taken by Adam Kropinski-Myers Order reference: PAIU2015/057.05 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org