365 Challenge #348 - The Anzac Spirit

Following the Dawn Service this morning, I headed back into the city to watch the Anzac Day march through Brisbane.

On my walk down to Ann Street, I overheard someone say that the Shrine of Memories was open. It's in the tunnel under Anzac Square and leads through to Central Station. I hadn't been in there - didn't even really know it existed, but I followed a bunch of Diggers in, and got way more than I bargained for.

It turned out the Diggers were part of one of the battalions due to walk in the march. They had their own private service in the Shrine of Memories, playing the Last Post and laying wreaths, before they were whisked off by bus up to the start of the march. I felt incredibly lucky to share that experience with the Diggers and their families - they didn't seem to mind (or notice) that I was there. The deep bonds and mateship that existed between these old guys was beautiful to watch. They spoke to each other so respectfully, while reflecting on their lost mates.

Following that little surprise, I was able to get a pretty good spot on the barricade. It was the perfect excuse to drag out the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens! A guy wandered over, put his backpack down and dragged out a Canon camera, with a 100-400mm lens - we chatted all things Canon until the march began.

It was a great procession of Diggers, bands, vehicles, flags and the odd horses, dogs and sheep. Yes, there was even an Armed Sheep!

The photo of these two gorgeous ladies was my favourite for the day. It's ANZAC mateship, sista style - this pair looked like they'd known each other forever, and as nurses - probably saw things that would horrify most of us.

I had an awesome day, chatting with some of the Diggers, and the people who stood behind the barricade with me. If the Dawn Service is the solemn part of Anzac Day, the march is almost like a celebration. It's so great to see people of all ages supporting the march, and those who fought - and continue to fight - for our country.

There's a whole album full of my photos from the 2011 Anzac Day march on my Flickr photostream :)

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