In case you missed it, yesterday was the day it was legal to play 'two up' across Australia, despite state laws prohibiting the unbelievably simple gambling game. ANZAC day is also the day on which 'gunfire' - coffee with rum - is traditionally drunk at breakfast. As the centennial anniversary of the War next year approaches, and the last survivors of those battles have been laid in their graves, one touching tradition continues to be observed on ANZAC day.
At 5am yesterday at Hyde Park Corner the dawn 'stand to' was called, commemorating the call of Reveille in the still empty moments of first light that preceded so many attacks. Likewise in Australia and New Zealand, soldiers (largely) will have turned out at dawn to commemorate their predecessors. It started as a quiet, wordless gathering of old soldiers alone, before the later 11am commemorations involving family, dignitaries, bands and public occasion. Now it's become something of a matter of pride for those serving in the Australian and New Zealand armed forces to attend.
Events a century ago have seared themselves into our collective psyche like no others; did they still remember the 30 years war in the same way in 1748? Or Crimea in 1954? There is something so epochal, so important about the Great War that we have determined collectively to remember it always.