The Canberra Times, and virtually every Australian newspaper, reported that crowd figures for ANZAC Day were up again.
The CT were quick off the mark telling us that an estimated 27K went to the dawn service. How they came up with these figures I’ll never know but a figure of over 20K would not have been out of the question.
The march, as Mael has pointed out, was a great success with tens of thousands of people lining the sides of ANZAC Parade and the general feeling was one of respect for all servicemen and women, especially at Olims who seemed to go out of their way to make the day a memorable one for ex services. (Unlike the City RSL which seemed to be filled with dodgy punters out on the piss and had never buttoned up a uniform or tied a boot lace in their life.
My 18 year old son and his mates went to the dawn service and the march. He left home at 0330 to get there. And then they stayed for the march.
The day keeps getting bigger and bigger and seems to have take on a great deal more importance and significance through the late 90’s and early 00’s than it did back in the 80’s. Is this because we had Timor? Is it because we have troop deployments all over the world? Is it because the youth of today are searching for a national identity that was denied them in the days of educational social engineering that was led by anti war, rabid left wing feminists?
I don’t know but the youth of today seem to have gained a respect for the ocassion and I thank all for turning up.
CT has some words here. Although they didn’t put in Mael’s and my interview.