Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Today is ANZAC Day in Australia. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. This public holiday marks the anniversary of the first military action during World War I. Australians spend the day remembering the sacrifice of those who have died in war with dawn services, ceremonies at war memorials, and marches in cities.
In Melbourne, the Shrine of Remembrance is a well-known memorial. The other week (when the weather was sunny and warm-in direct opposition to today!), I started my photographic tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens by stopping at this shrine. I had seen it from a distance on the tram, but I had never gone up close or inside.

There was so much around and inside of this impressive structure. The Gallery of Medals has 4000 service medals, each one representing 100 Victorians who have served in war and six who have lost their lives. There is the Sanctuary where Remembrance Ceremonies are held every half hour and the Crypt with sculptures and bronze panels dedicated to various units.

You can climb the steps to the balcony and get a great view of the city and the surrounding gardens and monuments. Then you can head back downstairs and check out the Visitor Centre and Education Centre. When I was there, several schoolchildren were there on field trips.

The Eternal Flame is always burning in front of the Second World War Memorial in the Forecourt.

No, I didn't make it to the Dawn Service at the Shrine of Remembrance this morning. Instead, I celebrated the holiday by sleeping in after a late girls' night out last night, staying out of the cold and rainy weather, and baking traditional ANZAC biscuits (cookies). Zack "celebrated" by working-ugh! Anyway, it's been interesting to see how another country celebrates its soldiers. Happy ANZAC Day!

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