It usually started with getting up at some unbelievable hour to venture into the city for the dawn service. We both really loved this. My dad was a noisy breather and had a singing voice that was close to a bass trombone. So when he sung all the unknown songs such as “abide with me”, he drowned out the band and the minute silence was always shrouded in a familiar shallow snorting, but it was special none the less.
The dawn service wasn’t about my dad or me, it was about us. Going to the dawn service together was the one of the best bonding experiences. We went as father and son and during the event we were part of something special, along with the other 10 thousand or so people.
I can’t wait for this tradition to start again with kid X and Baby Ernie (Kid X’s name for Kid Y). Unfortunately kid X is still far too young to attend, I think she would be far too cranky at being woken up so early and would not enjoy it at all. She would, after 4 minutes, want to run around and well it’s just too crowded. Next year it should be fine though.
Instead I plan to do something in respect of the fallen tomorrow, it might be watching an Anzac day parade either locally or in the city. It might be watching the footy, especially the remembrance section before the game starts. Whatever we decide to do it will start a tradition of commemorating and learning about the day. I learnt so much from my dad on this day, about my Grandfathers service, my dad’s time in the Nasho’s and about respect, I hope one day my kids will think the same about Anzac day as I do.