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This Anzac Day feels like a battle we’re all apart of

This Anzac Day feels like a battle we’re all apart of


I hope someone in your house remembered to make Anzac biscuits. I hope you’re chewing on one warm from the oven right now. 

And I hope you remembered to light a candle at dawn and stand at your front gate, or on the footpath, or on your little balcony, or straight-backed and dignified in your lounge-room as first light warmed the eastern sky.

What strange kind of Anzac Day is this? Not even amid the dark days of the ’50s and the Vietnam War, during which military authorities feared that the day would die out from lack of interest, have the cenotaphs and war memorials been so abandoned. 

No crowds. No service. No bright faces warmed around an eternal flame. Governor-General David Hurley, writing for the ABC today, remembers that time all too well.

The dissonance is powerful this Anzac Day, at a time when people so want to draw more closely together. 

It certainly feels like a great battle is going on; it feels like we are all combatants in it; and this year a hero is most definitely not only one who wears fatigues, but someone tied into blue scrubs, a protective gown and a face mask. 

There is a lot to mourn, to remember and many, many people to thank.

You might remember that a few weeks ago I wrote here about the warfront and home-front converging for the first time in history.

This morning, if you stood in the cold dawn — at that black time when it seems the sun will never rise — you might have felt more powerfully than before something that we confront each day now: that the enemy is all around even in this time of eerie absence.

But if someone in your neighbourhood split the night with those wrenching first notes of the Last Post haltingly played on bugle, or on saxophone or, as in my street, on a much-rehearsed trombone, then maybe the absence and separation dissolved in the dark and brought us all together again.

Just as moments like this are supposed to.

This weekend we have a terrific collection of reflections on wartime experience — one is on the eternal dilemma of losing one’s political faith in the face of wartime horror; the other is the kind of story to rival the plot of Saving Private Ryan.

To continue the cinematic theme, please find some time for this lovely piece which is an Australian version of Hidden Figures, happily hidden no longer.

And if you didn’t remember to make Anzacs, never fear: Miss Betty Firth of Sippy Downs Queensland is here to help — and her recipe is perfect.

Have a safe and happy weekend and relax knowing that tonight there’s actually a really good reason to stay in. Finally!

Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins, Jimmy Barnes, Courtney Barnett among many others will perform Music From the Home Front, to commemorate Anzac Day and pay tribute to health workers getting us through COVID-19. It will be televised live on the Nine Network tonight from 7.30pm.

If you can’t wait that long, try this: The Rubens will be part of the fun, too.

Virginia Trioli ABC NEWS



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