南京夜网,南京桑拿网,南京夜生活交流论坛

Powered by Kgazbg!

ANZAC: Daybreak odes to the fallen

‘‘BATMAN?’’
Nanjing Night Net

The boy is swaddled in a jumper that might fit next Anzac Day. He is utterly captivated as Fort Scratchley flings a searchlight into the night sky. It does look like the Bat Signal.

‘‘Gotham?’’

SIDE BY SIDE: Daniel Gartrell joins the silent vigil at Nobbys beach. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

On the way in there were joggers on Darby Street – two women with jackets for later – jouncing past a sailor in uniform. He glanced around, either self-conscious or looking for a cab. Young women in scarves walked Watt Street followed by a group of guys with that Newcastle determination to wear shorts to everything.

And now we whisper towards the flame beneath Nobbys headland and brace for the wind. It makes our steps short and tight; mums and dads hug their kids. Old Diggers inch along.

The dawn service. It wasn’t meant for dawns like this. Flagpoles clang and the speeches hiss and crackle against the walls of the fort. The wind brings the smell of thick, wet rain out at sea. It’s on the cusp of pouring. A poem, by Ataturk, who was first a young commander at Gallipoli, cuts through.

‘‘There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us, where they lie side by side in this country of ours …’’

That the Turks and Anzacs praised each other so, cared for each other’s wounded yet killed enough on those beaches to eclipse this crowd sits strangely. The young people here – in the dark, just rows of jeans and hoodies – seem painfully young.

The dawn shape shifts. Faces take form as lightning splits the sky. An old man in a blazer is statue still, and a girl in a beanie has closed her eyes. A wisp of cloud beside the moon could be a drop of blood, or the squiggle a boat leaves in the sand, or a swirl of ink in a letter.

The parts of Binyon’s For the Fallen that you never hear – ‘‘they went with songs to the battle, they were young, straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow’’ – give off a sadness undiminished.

Still, its most famous line extracts from the crowd a soft, barely perceptible sound. Somewhere between a groan and a sigh.

‘‘We will remember them.’’

Perhaps its simplicity, and that we only use it once a year, stops our collective cynicism from crashing through its fortifications.

When the silence comes the weather doesn’t detract. It deepens it. A piece of canvas flaps in the wind and waves crash and the only sound from the bodies assembled is when a baby lets out a hiccupy cry.

It’s raining. There’s no avoiding it now. Four shots crack out from the fort and scatter hot sparks on the breeze. Umbrellas go up, bacon sizzles and few know how to explain what we all just did in the dark.

posted by admin in 南京夜网 and have Comments Off on ANZAC: Daybreak odes to the fallen

Comments are closed.