Why we missed the 2010 ANZAC march

From when Sebastian started in Kindergarten, we would take him along to the ANZAC March and let him march along with his school friends to respect and honour the soldiers who had fought in the war. He’d be so proud, wearing the spick and span school uniform, waving the Australian flag and making it, almost, to the cenotaph at the end of the main street.

The first year he went with Dad and Matthew, I stayed at home with the twins as it was already shaping up for a warm day. He marched with another school parent as Matthew wasn’t at school yet.

The next year, both the boys marched and I took the twins along to see them. We waited and heard the planes fly by, the marching bands play and all the clapping and cheering. We were so proud once again to be able to show our support and stand, honouring the Bravest of the Brave. Again, they pulled out just before the service, so hot, so tired.

2009 was the last year the boys marched. We had packed water sprays, water bottles, extra hats, we had to find a spot close enough to the cenotaph so that we could bundle the boys straight into the air conditioning. Let me tell you, even with the special parking sticker, at a function which caters for all the elderly, these spots are impossible to get unless you stake them out the night before. Even if we got a super spot at the end of the march, how were we going to get them to the start of the march without wearing them out?

We ended up dropping Daddy and the boys off at the start of the march (minding the road closures already in place) and went to find a spot at the end of the march where we would be allowed to park. I then took the twins to the street where we were unfortunate to be in a sunny spot. We couldn’t walk further as I was already carrying both of them, so they stood in my shadow.  The start was delayed ,and as we waited to clap and cheer for the Service Men and Women, we made quite a few acquaintances who were happy to provide us with some shade.

I could feel Nathanael fading as he stood with me and I could only imagine how the boys were faring with Dad, cool breezes just don’t do it for them either. The first of the troops came and we cheered and waved and clapped, we heard the bands and we saw the boys with their flags waving in their school group.

They made it! Tired and hot, flaming red cheeks and shirts which dried faster than the water could be sprayed on, pride of accomplishment mixed with sheer exhaustion. We ended up carrying one after the other for a stretch back to the car, the air-con was on and both Matthew and Nathanael fell asleep on the way home. Many a nosebleed later, we had a quiet dinner and sent our special little heroes to bed.

So this year, we weighed up the options and it was with very heavy heart that we agreed not to take them to the ANZAC march. The weather was already hot and the “sick” days had been kind for a while. I feel like I let the diggers down. I know our children will remember the ANZAC’s as they are taught all we know here at home and at school. Please forgive us for not attending this year. LEST WE FORGET!

With love & support,

Tarja Kelly


2 Responses to “Why we missed the 2010 ANZAC march”

  1. 1 Beryl 25/04/2010 at 3:21 pm

    I am sure that the diggers would understand . It was not that you didnt want the children to March just that with there medical problems it is not always possible . I know that you would explain to them and they can still show respect by saying a prayer and talking about the diggers . Maybe you could get some of the diggers to visit you and they could talk to the children and they could ask them things , If it is practical for that to be done .

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