Families and Friends of First AIF member Kerry Patman from Sydney has written this report on her Anzac Day experience at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra:
I have not been to a Dawn Service for 10 years since my Dad died, as he was so involved in his RSL service, and I have just found it too hard to do. However, this year I ‘bit the bullet’, my husband and I went to Australian War Memorial, Dawn Service.
What an experience, the hairs still stand up on my neck just thinking about it. Never have I experienced anything like this. So dark, so cold (although not as cold as some years), wet, had rained hard all night, stopped for the service, so crowded, and so silent. The Service was only 30 minutes, it was wonderful, the haunting sound of the bugle for The Last Post, the absolute silence of remembrance and the cockatoos adding their screeching, and in the middle of the silence, the kookaburras ‘sang’, I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest.
The sound of the ‘kookas’ took me right to Gallipoli: in one book I have read, a digger writing home as they were waiting to land said ‘we were all so silent, cold, and thinking of home, waiting to hear the kookaburras’, and there I was.
What a wonderful, wonderful occasion it was. I will be going back there, that is one thing certain.
So that was my wonderful Anzac Day.
Lest We Forget
Thanks to Kerry for sharing her experience and her photos taken in the early hours of Anzac Day.
For further details of the Service at the AWM click here.