Anzac Day dawn service 2007 – Always bigger, always better?

johnboy 26 April 2007 22

Apparently over 30,000 Canberrans made their way in the dark to the War Memorial this morning. Cars clogged the streets of Reid and Campbell for miles around and the buses stacked up on Limestone Avenue as if for a football game.

The stadium seating was draped in camouflage and the days of the candles being lit one to the other, passing on the flame, are long gone, replaced by insipid orange bulbed fake electric candles which drop no wax and start no fires.

No one sang (apart from the choir) because no one knows how to sing any more. As a very gentle rain started to fall a sea of umbrellas went up. Getting there by 5am was hardship enough.

But it was a lovely service.

UPDATED: guillerisco has YouTubed some of the pomp and circumstance of the later service:

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22 Responses to Anzac Day dawn service 2007 – Always bigger, always better?
ttr181 ttr181 12:05 pm 04 Jul 07

can anyone please explain in further details the pro’s & con’s of using this candle.

Thumper Thumper 9:15 pm 26 Apr 07

Dqmn, i missed it.

lest we forget.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 9:54 am 26 Apr 07

I fear that people are starting to treat anzac day as a way to celebrate over zealous patriotism, when people should be reflecting/remembering those who died in war.

I personally think it should be a day where we remember how dangerous nationalism/patriotism can be (in general not just australia).

johnboy johnboy 7:41 pm 25 Apr 07

Personally I’d hate to see the day of rememberance get caught up in the business of being a national day of celebration as well.

Maelinar Maelinar 7:38 pm 25 Apr 07

I was up till 2 on an unrelated issue (baby 38 degrees), and consequently slept through the dawn service and parade.

Anzac day is designed as a day of rememberance, lets point out firsthand that Anzac cove is where we tried to invade Turkey and got soundly trounced.

Australia and New Zealand are the only countries in the world that I know of that celebrate losing a battle.

That point aside, for whatever reasons, be they ill conceived or in the best intentions, Anzac day is gaining in popularity.

IMHO, it’s more Australian than Australia Day nowdays.

johnboy johnboy 4:17 pm 25 Apr 07

Not that there was a direct invasion threat in WWII either, we just had a PM who wasn’t trusted with that intelligence (for fear the soviets would learn about US and UK code breaking) and the legend was born.

Which is not to say that it isn’t prudent to fight your wars as far away from home as possible.

They went where their elected Governments told them to go and died or were crippled for us. You might want to second guess those Governments now but we’d be in big trouble if we couldn’t find people willing to do that.

futto futto 4:13 pm 25 Apr 07

I see anzac day as increasingly becoming a focus point of nationalism.

I think alot of it stems from the fact that we currently have a large amount of troops on foreign soil, spreading freedom and democracy and all that good stuff.

I’m proud to be Australian and i would fight for our freedom if it was threatened directly but just because i was born on this bit of soil, instead of that bit, doesn’t make me better than anyone else nor does it mean i should mourn the loss of people who died almost 100 years ago.

Before anyone mouths off and claims that “hey! they died for MY freedom!”, that may be true to the men who fought the direct invasion threat in WW2, but for all wars?. Do you pick who you respect and remember or do all wars our government sanctions count?

LG LG 2:55 pm 25 Apr 07

I didn’t mind the fake candles, I thought they gave off enough light to read the programme.

The only downpoint for me was the guy in front of me who was smoking. It wafted straight into my face. Sure its outdoors, but if you want to smoke, go to the back, don’t light up in the middle of a crowd of people.

Outside of that I enjoyed it very much.

Watched a bit of the 10:30 ceremony on TV, Bob McMullan looked so bored and uninterested. Pretty poor form in my opinion.

GnT GnT 1:59 pm 25 Apr 07

“Yep but the problem is no one told that to Hitler or the Japs.”

Or Dubya

bubzie bubzie 12:34 pm 25 Apr 07

i went, for the first time this year..and im sticking to the 10am service to pay my respects this time.

(and those battery powered candles were shocking. I couldnt read the program with one of those!)

johnboy johnboy 12:10 pm 25 Apr 07

Well there were plenty of the little orange battery powered fake candles.

terubo terubo 11:27 am 25 Apr 07

Could it be, JB, that there is some correlation between “no one knows how to sing any more” and “the days of the candles being lit one to the other, passing on the flame, are long gone”?

-In other words, too dark to read the words off the distributed songsheets.

johnboy johnboy 10:53 am 25 Apr 07

Possibly as a result of upbringing I know Oh Valiant Hearts rather well. The words *were* all in the programs that were widely distributed. I also note that the hymm Non Nobis Domine has been dropped which i think is a shame as the words were written by CEW Bean, as has been the Lord’s Prayer. Times and sensitivities change.

Anyway I’m pretty sure that amongst the very many things those we honoured this morning were fighting for was the right to wonder out loud if maybe the Anzac day hoopla (especially for non-veterans) has been taken a bit far.

For the curious the war memorial has an old program online from 2003 with the words to Non Nobis Domine:

By Charles Bean, Australian official war correspondent
Written in December 1915, when leaving the graves on Gallipoli; the title is taken from Psalm 115, “Not unto us, O Lord”.

Not unto us, O Lord, to tell
Thy purpose in the blast,
Why these, that tower beyond us, fell
And we were overpast.

We cannot guess how goodness springs
From the black tempest’s breath,
Nor scan the birth of gentle things
In these red bursts of death.

We only know – from good and great
Nothing save good can flow;
That where the cedar crashed so straight
No crooked tree shall grow;

That from their ruin a taller pride –
Not for these eyes to see –
May clothe one day the valleyside . . .
Non nobis, domine.

shauno shauno 10:38 am 25 Apr 07

“war seems so tragic and unnecessary.”
Yep but the problem is no one told that to Hitler or the Japs.

RM RM 10:17 am 25 Apr 07

“ – where someone can always find a negative – and voice it.”

Morgan Lee Morgan Lee 10:10 am 25 Apr 07

Yeah, even for a regular church goer those hymns aren’t on the top 20 countdown of favourite hymns anymore. I don’t think I’ll go again, because of the sheer numbers I have been to Raiders games that are more moving and personal.

I must take my hat off to that bloke who MC’s it every year, the way he rolls his rrr’s…

GnT GnT 10:09 am 25 Apr 07

I no longer go to Anzac Day services. The whole thing seems to me to be glorifying war. We are supposed to be grateful that so many people made the ultimate sacrifice. I am just sad that thay died. I guess it’s just the pacifist in me – war seems so tragic and unnecessary.

Pandy Pandy 10:06 am 25 Apr 07

I gave it a miss this year. Too many people, too far too walk, its much the same every year.

liz liz 10:02 am 25 Apr 07

The candles, both the style and the lack of people holding them were disappointing indeed.

Aside from ‘Abide With Me’, i didn’t know the songs to sing them.

szeretetta szeretetta 9:24 am 25 Apr 07

I was there this morning. It was a very lovely service. I stood there in the rain, but disappointed with the candles. The people all around me were singing as much as they could, but the songs, for the most part, were not well known.

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