We attended the dawn Anzac service in Christchurch, even though it meant we got only four hours sleep. We are extremely glad we did, because it was a wonderful service.
Anzac stands for “Austrailian and New Zealand Army Corps”, and Anzac Day is like Memorial Day in USA. Anzac Day is a day of remembering those who have fallen in various wars, as well as honouring those who are returned from serving overseas. April 25 is the anniversary of the Anzacs (New Zealand and Australian soldiers) at Gallipoli during World War I. 2,721 New Zealanders lost their lives in the Gallipoli Campaign.
The Anzac Day service began with the flags being marched in to music from the band, followed by many others carrying wreaths. A small parade, really. There were several speakers during the 45 minute service. A New Zealand Air Force jet flew overhead just before the end of the service, which concluded with taps and reveille. After the conclusion of the service, the band remained and played for another half hour, beautiful music.
must have been a couple thousand attending, and there was a large screen and more than a dozen cameras showing the ceremonies from many different angles. The Christchurch Anzac Day ceremony was held in the Cranmer Square, because the Remembrance Bridge, where it is normally held, has been damaged and is closed off to the public, as is much of the Christchurch central business district.
It is very sad to me, to us, Andrew and me, that wars and battles are still being fought around the world, but it is nice that many countries have Days of Remembrance to remind us what, and who, we’ve lost.