Bowed head, arm reversed - pose of respect for the fallen Can you see the ANZAC soldier?
My family and I just spent two weeks in Australia catching up with my sister and her children; making memories together to see us through the next few years that we will spend apart. We passed our time at the theme parks but we also visited ANZAC memorials and talked about our ancestors who had left Australia as young men and women (yes, nurses served in the Army too) and either returned to be quiet, haunted members of society or worse, they never came home at all. My sister lives on a rural property with sheep and chickens and her house is old enough to have hosted farewell parties for ANZAC soldiers. It was sobering to think of young men, the age of my own children, leaving on a boat to go serve in Egypt and along the Western Front. I found the shock of going from the farm to the mall bad enough so I cannot imagine how it was for them find themselves in the muddy, cold trenches.
One particularly touching experience was in an RSA park in downtown Surfers Paradise. It was 8.30am and the temperature was already at 26C. Some Freedom Campers were just packing up their bedding after spending the night on the base of a Lest We Forget memorial when we arrived. They were tired, looking for breakfast and far from home and right beside them was a statue made of 100 layers of metal sheeting. From a distance it was not obvious that you were looking at a statue at all, but as you got closer and the gap between the sheets of metal collapsed you could see an ANZAC soldier standing at “Reverse Order of Arms” in a symbolic form of respect for those who had fallen. His ghostly presence resides quietly among the locals as they go about their day, but as you approach and look closely at him he takes on a solid human form. I couldn’t think of a better way to represent how I have been affected by the sacrifice of all those who fought in the Great War. We can pass them by if we want but they are there and they deserve our attention.
Read 813 times Last modified on Sunday, 31 July 2016 06:26