ANZAC Day 2020
105 years ago, the beach and craggy gullies of Gallipoli burst into a clatter of machine guns, the crack of the sniper’s rifle and the thump of machine gun artillery shells.
Australian and Kiwi troops had come ashore at dawn, to what is now known as ANZAC cove.
Despite the ill-planned attack and shocking bloodshed, the campaign would be cemented in our history as the baptism of a nation.
The marches and dawn services in cities and towns, across our country and in New Zealand, and the growing reverence of the crowds gathering in Gallipoli, established ANZAC Day as our most treasured and revered annual commemoration.
As the pilgrimages to Gallipoli grew, ANZAC cove rang each year to the sound of three national anthems; Turkey, New Zealand and Australia, and the prayers of remembrance.
The annual gathering has seen young Australians wrap themselves in blankets, drawn to the Turkish shoreline, absorbing the ANZAC story. Few walk away unaffected, by walking on the same ground where the struggle took place.
But today in Gallipoli there will only be silence. Perhaps a whisper of the sea heaving gently in and out, over the sand and stones that compose the historic strip of Turkish coastline.
ANZAC Day here in Australia, across the pond in New Zealand and over there in Turkey, a far different occasion in 2020 where dawn services and marches were cancelled across the country.
This morning my husband and I stood on our apartment balcony at dawn, listened to the Ode and The Last Post on YouTube and had a few minutes of quiet remembrance.
The service focuses our nation on that one event, but it is a reminder to honour the Australian women and men who serve in all conflicts and peacekeeping missions across the globe.
We will remember them. Lest we forget.
[poppy illustration by Spoonflower]