Eleven year old Brad asked to go to the ANZAC Dawn Service year. I took him and his older brother a few years ago, so I was very proud that he wanted to go again for the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. As for big brother, Josh reckons he needed his sleep!
I’ve been to several Dawn Services at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, this first was in the early 1990’s, when the attending crowd was probably measured in the 100’s. This year the crowd was said to be over 80,000 people!
Once we eventually found somewhere to park the car and walked to the Shrine, the crowd was already really big. So many people at un un-ticketed, standing room only event, in the dark and rain, sounds like a recipe for disaster, but the crowd was very well behaved. We were around the side of the Shrine, and after the service slowly shuffled our way around to the front, up the steps and inside to lay a poppy each in the Inner Sanctum.
Afterwards we watched the start of the ANZAC march (parade) before walking up the closed St Kilda Road to the city. I was surprised that the crowd stretched all the way to Flinders Street, that’s really fantastic for 9AM on a Saturday morning, let alone any other time.
After a McDonalds breakfast, we caught a tram back to our car in South Melbourne (complete with parking ticket) to head home and watch the football on TV.