First published in The Age on April 26, 1923
A DAY OF MEMORIES
Pride in the Glory of Anzac’s Youthful Heroes
WHOLE NATION STANDS STILL IN SILENT TRIBUTE
As a mother on the anniversary of her son’s death turns back her thoughts over years and mourns for the boy she has lost, so Australia, the nation, paused yesterday and thought in sorrow and pride of her gallant sons who died on Gallipoli’s shore eight years ago. By their fearless and wonderful deeds in the face of terrible odds, those sons had proclaimed Australia a nation.
It was a nation of sorrowing mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and sweethearts, whose pride in the glory of the youthful heroes of Anzac was overshadowed by grief. Time, with its healing balm, has softened the grief, but it has not obliterated the memory of the Anzacs brave deeds, or the young nation’s pride in the valour and achievements of her fallen sons.
There was nothing spectacular in the Anzac commemorations in Melbourne yesterday. The day was proclaimed a public holiday, but it was not as other holidays. There was no rejoicing. Memories of the young heroes who went away and never returned were still fresh and vivid.
Crowds flocked into the city, but they were quiet and subdued crowds. Halls and churches in which memorial services were held were all thronged with men and women who obviously had lost loved ones in the war. Flags waved from trams and over high buildings, but there was nothing else to indicate that the city was celebrating the greatest event in Australia’s history. At least, that was the impression until the clocks pointed to the hour of 11. Then a great change came over the city.