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Friday, May 15, 2009

Are you going to San Francisco?

Yes I am. Tomorrow morning to be exact...

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Slouch Hat and The Dawn

Anzac Day 2009

What a special Anzac day it was this year. Two Australian lasses and I hired a car and headed up to the Australian National Memorial in Villers Bretonneux for an Anzac Day dawn service. We left Paris at 2am to get there on time, and arrived at about 4am (Thanks for the driving Jo!) It was more than worth it. Almost 3000 Aussies made the pilgrimage for the service. For many it was the pinnacle of their sojourn to Europe from the wide brown land. What a special place that hill just outside Villers Bretonneux is. Something about arriving in the shadows of the early morning, moving amongst the rows of graves with only the sound of the wind in the leaves of the trees made it all the more moving. I felt like I had intruded on a sacred spot of earth at a time when it was not expecting my visit.

I also managed to trek out to see the site of the Battle of Pozières, where my great grandfather, from whom I get my middle name, was wounded. In the words of Australian official historian Charles Bean, the Pozières ridge is "more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth." I couldn't get over the fact that this insignificant mound on the side of the highway had been witness to such unnecessary violence.