Nov 9, 2015

Remembrance Day Memories - Rosa


Lone Pine Cemetery 2000
Image Sourced from Department of Veterans' Affairs (http://www.dva.gov.au/)
Coming from an Italian background, I don’t have a direct connection with Remembrance Day having no family members involved in Australian theatres of war. My earliest memory of it, however, comes from my primary school experience. I remember being quiet and trying to think of fallen soldiers while the Last Post played through the classroom speaker. In later primary school years, we went to the War Memorial on St Kilda road and being told about the ray of sunlight that shines directly onto a particular spot at 11am on 11 November. I was so impressed by that.

Much later, as an adult, my husband and I visited Gallipoli in 1987, before the days it became a pilgrimage, of sorts, for young Australian. We were driven around by a young Turkish man who still spoke about the respect the locals have for the fallen Australian soldiers. It was heartbreaking to see the artefacts in the small museum that had been discovered in later years that belonged to the soldiers such as reading glasses, pieces of clothing and diaries. The Memorial at Anzac Cove has the most moving words: 

"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."

That’s what Remembrance Day means to me.


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