Monday, 27 April 2015

At the going down of the sun

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.
It was pitch black when I went to pick him up. The wind was chilling and I wore layer upon layer of clothing. As I drove, everything seemed so still. There were only a few cars on the roads but I knew we were all chasing the same thing. Dawn.

As I pulled up to his house, the sky turned from black to midnight blue and as he opened the car door the sudden rush of cold air filled the car and made the hairs on my arm stand on edge. We blasted the heater and tried to keep the other awake through pointless banter as we made our way to the coast.

There were cars all lined up against the water this morning. Unusual for 6am but not unusual for today. Everyone silently nodded to each other as they walked past. We respected the others presence but yet we did not want to interfere. This was a special moment that needed not be shared with everyone.

We sat on the cold sand and waited. Surfers ran past us as we did. They were brave men to walk into that freezing water and yet they did it with a smile on their faces while I shivered under my many layers. We watched them bob up and down on their surfboards waiting for the waves to approach and we couldn't help but feel that 100 years ago, a similar event was happening. There were young men, bobbing up and down in their boats just a few hundred metres off the shores of Gallipoli waiting for what was to come. It wasn't a wave that came though, it was a battle. It was a battle that saw thousands of young Australian and New Zealand soldiers lose their lives. It was a battle that would we would all remember for the next century to come.

100 years since the ANZACs landed on the Turkish shore of Gallipoli. I find it so hard to imagine what it would have been like. Sometimes I don't want to imagine it. I'm not sure why but it's only now that I realise how important this day is to commemorate. I think I realise that these men were as much as 5 years younger than I am and, to me, that is such a sad thought. I can't fathom the idea of thousands of eighteen year old men dancing off to war in hopes of honour and glory. I just cant. I'm so thankful for their bravery and for their service but so much of me is so sad that this all had to happen. It just doesn't seem fair. But then again, when is war ever fair?

We paid our respects on that beach. We each said a silent prayer and we watched as the sun rose about the horizon and lit up the sky.

It was beautiful yet chilling moment. I think it will sit with me for a while.

12 comments:

  1. This is such a beautiful tribute to the souls of those men who gave their lives, Sam - you're honouring them in the most wonderful of ways. It's lovely to see that so many awoke early, to remember in silence, to offer their thoughts and prayers. You captured the moment in a way that made my heart swell with love, and my eyes fill with tears <3 Thank you xxx

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    1. No, thank you for your kind words :) x

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  2. lovely words and photos Sam :) I can't fathom the events either, such a tragic lost for sure :(

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  3. these pictures are so beautiful! great work as always. :)

    madeline
    http://madelinemariehall.com/

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  4. Such a beautiful feeling, early in the morning.

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  5. Inspiring pictures and thoughts. Your blog is lovely!

    Hannah Grace in Everything

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  6. this is so beautiful!! amazing shots :)

    https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/

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  7. Beautiful words & photos as ever.

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  8. ANZAC day really is a very personal day to reflect and remember in a way that feels appropriate. I really like this Sam, there has been a lot of garbage in the media and fake remembrance that it's hard to sift through and find your own meaning. This was a really nice reflection to drown out the others. xx

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    1. It's sad that the media can make us lose sight of what is truly important. I'm glad so many young people are standing up for this day though and commemorating it like they should. It's a beautiful thing.

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