Smoky city

If I didn’t know better, I’d say we were experiencing summer all over again, but no, it’s hazard reduction burns! And they’re important, even if they interfere with me walking outside. Just as well I have the dreadmill. I’m using that until the burns have ceased.

Which is quite funny. I think we’re having another year of what they call an”Indian summer”. We had a cool period last week, then from Wednesday onwards, the warmth has come back and I think we’re culminating with 31C on Sunday. Of course, they’re also predicting rain on Monday.

Speaking of Monday, for those not in Australia and New Zealand, 25 April is always a day we put aside to remember those soldiers of the first world war who attacked a site in Turkey on the British Govt’s ill-conceived idea. I would expect our elite officers tried to tell the Brits that the campaign would be a disaster, but the Brits still went ahead with it. They didn’t care, it was Aussies and New Zealanders that would bear the brunt of the onslaught.

In 1915, at Gallipoli Peninsula, something like 25,000 Australian troops and over 2780 New Zealanders were casualties, of which over 8,000 Australians and 2779 New Zealanders died of wounds or disease or were killed.

Each year both countries pay respects to those soldiers who died so that our lives continued. When safe, there is often a presentation at what is now known as ANZAC Cove.

ANZAC Day starts with a dawn memorial service at all of our War Memorials. I have been to the Dawn Service in Kings Park and completely moved by that ceremony. I have also been to a ceremony at the Guildford memorial as part of the Swan Communications Brigade. After the Dawn Service in Kings Park, there is a parade of all service men and women. It used to be led by a group known as the “diggers”. These were survivors of Gallipoli. Now, it is led by their families in their honour. After that are survivors of other battles and other wars.

25 April is always known as ANZAC Day and we are all reminded that this Monday again, is ANZAC day. I hope, one day, to attend the memorial at ANZAC Cove, but it will be a while. I am unsure if it will be on this year, given that RSLWA has decided to cancel the Dawn Service.

I am saddened by the fact that it took many years and much lobbying by the survivors of the Vietnam war to be recognised as war heroes. They now take their place in the parade.

I’m sure I won’t be the only one who is sad that due to COVID-19 restrictions the RSLWA has decided that the ANZAC Day Dawn Service will not take place this year. RSLWA, however, is encouraging the public to hold driveway Dawn Services in conjunction with a few of Perth’s radio stations.

I salute those who can attend the parade and all those who have risked their lives for our safety.

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