It’s a little bit hard to find an adequate way to celebrate ANZAC Day when you’re not in Australia, New Zealand, or Turkey. So I decided I’d aim as close as I could without a BBQ, pub or two-up in close vicinity, and aimed for the Verzetsmuseum – Resistance Museum of Amsterdam. Wrong war, I know.
Some of the photos below may be distressing to some viewers. Would you like to know more?
As Himself and I wandered into our new favourite café,
we were informed that today is a Red Letter Day in the Dutch calendar. Liberation Day. Something to celebrate!
Some singers began what was obviously a traditional tune, and I have never so much wanted to instantly know the language as I did then. I hope to have it figured out in time for next year!
On the advice of our charming waitress we headed into the Dam where the Royal family had been just yesterday paying their respects, and presiding over the 2 minutes silence at 8pm for Rememberance of the Dead. But today there was bands and music and celebration!
This is the Palace. Now that the Fair Rides have gone I could finally get a better shot of it! I love the gilded horns of the unicorns.
At the other end of Dam Square is the National Monument.
Flowers at the base,
and the Royal Tribute.
As much as I’ll probably always hold ANZAC Day dear (I’ve known too many fighters not to), there is something very different about being able to celebrate no longer being an occupied territory.
A few years ago now in a different time and place I accepted the challenge of attempting to eat just army rations for ANZAC day. I was even given real ones. The real deal. Beige packaging and all.
I didn’t remember details given that it was two years ago, but thanks to the magic of online journals, I rediscovered that between Himself and I we had found it a LOT of food. With the prompt I also remembered writing “I don’t think I ever want to see jam in a tube again”. There were also some helpful hints (too little too late) from an ex-enlisted friend about how to have combined bits made it all a touch more palatable.
As we headed up the Hill for our annual Easter FishBQ just 3 days ago, this challenge came back to mind, as the generous soul who proposed the challenge and provided the rations would normally have been in attendance. I asked of his whereabouts, only to be told that he was currently deployed.
It’s so easy to forget while going about daily routine that the people out on the frontlines are our friends, neighbours, and family.
When you wake up this morning in your comfy bed, and contemplate walking up the local café for breakfast or whatever your routine is, spare a thought for the people out there fighting for what they believe in. How many of us can honestly say the same?
Thank you ANZACs.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.