One hundred years on – today is the centenary of the Gallipoli landings. Record numbers are expected at Dawn Parades all over the country, and we drove to Foxton to join in with approximately 2000 others for this year’s service. Gathering with all the other participants at the RSA building, we walked along the dark streets behind the parade, following the military contingent and the veterans. and then we all gathered around the cenotaph. Speeches were made, wreaths were laid, the names of the local fallen were read out and a white wooden cross was planted in the honour of each man. But, we were reminded, the fight goes on, and some of our military are serving overseas at different locations in the present day. As the sky started to lighten the hauntingly beautiful Last Post was played from the hill top.
The Last Post
Everyone clapped as the parade marched back, in recognition and appreciation of the military and veterans there today.
It was a very poignant Dawn Parade and we felt very privileged to be here at this very special 100th Centenary celebrations. Anzac Day is very special indeed to New Zealanders and Australians alike, forged all those years ago in the horrors of war, and the common bond keeps us closely aligned in times of trouble.
We stopped off at the National Army Museum earlier in the week and the staff were busy making the finishing touches for their Anzac Day celebrations. The 6.00am Dawn Parade was to be followed by an Army Style breakfast, and Armoured Personnel Carrier rides. It would have been quite an occasion to take part in.