Monday, April 26, 2010

Of remembrance and gunfire breakfast...

ANZAC DAY (Melbourne April 25, 2010)
Woke up at 430 a.m. just to go for the Dawn Service at the Shrine of Remembrance which starts at 6 a.m. Talk about patriotism, I don't even wake up for the Merdeka Parade in Kuala Lumpur. So met up with Bryan and went to the Shrine first. Lydia was slightly late so she met up with us there. The morning was cold and the shrine was clouded with solemness. There were so many people there and as a Malaysian Chinese a.k.a. "Asian", I felt like I didn't belong there at all (yea, because the event had nothing to with me at all.). The ratio of Asians being there with the Caucasians is 2000 to 1. Seriously!

The event was very meaningful, everyone was serious for an hour and a half listening to speakers followed by the 21 gunshot salute as a symbolism in remembrance of those who died fighting in the war.

After the service, the three of us decided to walk around and snap some photos of the scene. We managed to witness the beautiful sunrise. I guess none of us have ever woken up so early since we touched down in Melbourne.

Sunrise memorial
Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne in the Sunrise.

In attention
Security Guards of the Shrine Posing for cameras.

'2' year old girl with security
And even the "Two" year old girl managed to get a picture with one of the Guard. (Ask her for the inside joke)

Shadow play.

Posing for the Cameras.

Oh yea... I did find one reason why I need to celebrate ANZAC Day....
ANZAC in Borneo
Yes... Because they fought for the state I was born in and also the country of my citizenship.

ANZAC in Malaya
MALAYA (Later changed to Malaysia after 1963 when Sarawak and Sabah joined Peninsula Malaysia)

Memorial Shrine
So many people were crowding into the Shrine to pay their respects to those soldiers who fallen in Battle. Me, Bryan and Lydia didn't bother to line up because there were just too many people.

Eternal flame
By the eternal flame, you will see visitors throwing coins, trying to get it into the flame.  But it falls out anyway because there is a hole to allow nothing to get stuck inside.

Another Unique thing about this day was the breakfast that you can head to and try.  Its nothing special really.  Baked beans, a piece of bread, 2 sausages and scrambled eggs.  But from what I know, its the army food.  Before the parade started, the three of us head out to the gunfire breakfast tent to grab a bite to eat, its free, but they asked for donations, so you give what you feel is right.  

Serving Army food
Try to imagine being the only few Asians in line.

Army food a.k.a. Gunfire Breakfast
The meal. Not too bad I have to say.
After breakfast, we head out to the streets to watch the parade of veterans and soldiers of Melbourne.  Here are the pictures of the day event... Not much to talk about.

Armed Horses
High ho silver
Vintage gas mask
Vintage soldier gas masks.  Look so frightful.

Vintage medic
Medics in the past did not have ambulances, they had horses and carriages.

Veteran band
Smart in Uniform
Marching band
Scottish band
Fly Past
Army Photographer
Army's photographer. Weapon: 2 DSLR cameras Brand: UNKNOWN...

Me and Bryan with Band player
We even manage to get a shot with one of the band players. SO COOL!
So ends my ANZAC Day experience.... It was so interesting.  As Lydia put it "I feel more Australian.".  We clearly would not find this kind of memorabilia or remembrance in Malaysia.  Even the "Pahlawan" remembrance is to remember only those Malay heroes.. What about the other races who fought for the Independence of Malaysia?  Was it only one race of heroes who gave freedom?  For a country who pride on multi-racial cooperation, we have one of the most racist attitude you can ever find.  That is why I admire the Australians.  They remember all their soldiers who fought in the war, no matter their race, their religion or where they were or their ancestors were from.  Sigh.. Need to pray for a better Government..... Ok... Hope you enjoy the post..
All the way from Melbourne.... Happy Reading!


Twin XL said...

I had never heard of this event - thanks for sharing :)

Bentuckee said...

cool pictures and sharing...

but wait till u come to tasmania and u know wat racism is about here.