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A.N.Z.A.C. Dawn Service.
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By Rebecca Goodman

A.N.Z.A.C. Dawn Service.

“Mum, leave me alone,” I murmured sleepily. I looked at my clock. 5:00 in the morning! I was about to ask if there was something wrong and if I needed to get out of bed immediately, but then I remembered the A.N.Z.A.C. Dawn Service. 20 minutes later me, my brother and my mum fed, dresses, teeth cleaned and ready to go.
When we got there, the service had already started, so we weren’t able to get a very good view. Because of this, mum let me go and explore, so I could get a good view. 5 minutes and about 1000 “Excuse me’s” later, I had myself a good view near the front, on the left hand side, so I was facing the speaker
The speaker had a powerful voice, so everyone could hear quite clearly. When I estimated, I guessed that there were 300-400 people there, but I didn’t know if that was a lot, because it was my dawn service.
First, there were some readings, some religious and some not. The last reading was a poem. In Flanders Field, by John McRea. I thought it was by a professional poet, but when it had finished, they told us it that John McRea was just a soldier. I was quite surprised.
Next came the choir. To be quite honest, they sounded like they were dying. They were the only part of the service I didn’t like. But, being fair to them, the audio work wasn’t great either.
After that, there were more readings, usually read by various people serving in the army. These went on for quite a long time, but that wasn’t I was worried about. The thing I was worrying about was the man standing right beside me. He was so pale in the face that I thought he was going to faint right there on the spot. He wore an army uniform that was obviously not his, because it was two sizes too big, and very old. On his chest he donned 5 rows of medals, with as many as 10 medals in each row. I soon realised that he was probably wearing his grandfather’s uniform, and that the medals were probably passed down by generation. He was quite young, 22 I would have guessed.
After about 5 minutes of me staring at him, he turned and looked right at me. That was when I became aware of the pain he was going through. There were tears flooding down his cheeks, and that river of tears didn’t look like it was going to stop any time soon. And as I mentioned before, his face looked like he had just seen ghosts. His body was shaking, and I thought he was just going to collapse, the state he was in.
My feet were rooted to the spot under his uncomfortable gaze, but I soon remembered my manners and looked elsewhere. I moved position very soon after that.
5 minutes later, the service ended, and I trudged wearily back to the car with mum and Nicholas. I was too tired to think properly then, but when finally properly woke up, my mind went racing. I think I was just beginning to understand the real meaning of war.

By Rebecca Goodman.



Brian Falkner Books