I’ve only been to a handful of ANZAC Day services. We usually go to the service at Brighton, but have also been to one at Victor Harbor. Both were especially moving, in part because of the sound of the waves breaking, reminding the crowd gathered of what memories the ocean holds. And partly because of the guaranteed sheen of rain on the pavement, the breath of the crowd rising into the dawn air…. the constant reminders that we are alive. Thinking of those we have lost.

The services have been moving due to the sheer number and range of people gathered. Young and old. Uggboots and dressing gowns. Beanies and scarves. Prams and bikes. I’ve always found the services a bit overwhelming but since having Elka I can barely bite back the tears. Just imagine losing your child to war. What horror and torment it must cause. It breaks my heart.

One of the most meaningful parts of the services to me are when students and children lay wreaths and read poems. But by far, the most heart-wrenching part is the music. Whether it’s through voice or solely instrumental, I find this part deeply moving.

My poppa was a Rat of Tobruk. A quiet man, I remember him for his height, lolly tin and loving smile. But he never spoke of war. Of course not to me, his granddaughter, but rarely to anyone else either. Not even his wife, my nanna, a nurse here in Adelaide. But why would he? The horror must’ve been beyond imagining. To be honest, I cannot bring myself to imagine it. It is just so bloody awful.

The schools I have taught in have always paid homage to ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day and the history surrounding these events. The services are consistently sombre, respectful, meaningful occasions with white crosses lining ovals and poppies adorning blazer pockets. Young eyes thoughtful and sincere.

There are many ways to remember those who served our country, whether they served at war or at home, picking up the pieces of shattered families. Attending an ANZAC service is an emotional thing. To see people taking the time out of their lives to cherish our country and be thankful to those who have protected us and continue to do so.

I hope you find a special way to spend ANZAC day this year.

You might also be interested in

  • Take a Virtual Visit of the Australian War Memorial click here to visit Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli click here to take a tour Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, France click here to take a look V.C. Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial, Fromells France click here to take a look Amy Museum of South Australia Video Tour https://youtu.be/THgT9TA6uME

  • On April 25, 2024, communities across Adelaide will unite to honour the courageous soldiers who have served and continue to serve our nation. Don't miss the RSL South Australia Dawn Services, ANZAC march, and Cross of Sacrifice services. Stay updated on the latest information by following the RSLSA page. Make 2024 the year you introduce your children to the significance of ANZAC Day by attending a Dawn Service together. If you're looking for a family-friendly ANZAC Day service, the Light Horse Memorial in the CBD East parklands is always a great idea. With convenient parking, a concise service starting at 8 am, and an opportunity for kids to interact with horses afterward, it's an experience not to be missed. Check below for event ideas and ways to commemorate ANZAC Day, including crafts and baking ANZAC biscuits with your family. Let's come together as a community to remember and honour our heroes. ANZAC Day Your Way

  • ANZAC BISCUIT RECIPE - MAKES ABOUT 35 1 cup rolled oats 1 cup plain flour 1 cup sugar 3/4 (three-quarters) cup coconut 125g (4 oz) butter 2 tablespoons golden syrup ½ (half) teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1 tablespoon boiling water Combine oats, sifted flour, sugar and coconut. Combine butter and golden syrup, stir over gentle heat until melted. Mix soda with boiling water, add to melted butter mixture, stir into dry ingredients. Take teaspoonfuls of mixture and place on lightly greased oven trays; allow room for spreading. Cook in slow oven (150°C ) for 20 minutes approx