25. Lest we forget
You spend the next few years continuing to report for the Age and working your way up the ranks of journalism. It has been a long time now since the war ended, but you will never forget the time you spent in Europe reporting on it. Anzac Day is always a special day for you for this reason. Many years later you are assigned to report on the Anzac Day dawn service in Melbourne.
You wake up at 4 am so you can get a good spot to watch the parade. There are veterans around, so you interview a few of them.
Interview with Jeremy Sandover
‘This dawn service, mate,’ begins Jeremy, ‘was originally just for veterans. Now everyone shows up. It was meant to be a time for us to reflect with our fellow soldiers. We’ve got mixed emotions about it, see. Used to be a real simple service, with a serious and kind of sad atmosphere.’
He takes a seat on the green park bench behind him.
‘Only fellow soldiers can know what it was like. The dawn is a menacing time for us veterans. Dawn is a good time for an attack, because the other side are usually asleep. But knowing that’s when you might be attacked makes you paranoid at that time of the morning. That feeling is still with me.’
You thank him for his time.
Interview with Daniel Rowley
‘Yeah I don’t normally come into the city for this. There’s a ceremony in almost every suburb and town in Australia anyway. New Zealand too, I hear. I’m from Ballarat. We lay wreaths, observe a minute’s silence, pray if you’re a religious kind, and of course some old codger plays “The last post” on a bugle. It’s nice.’
He pulls out a cigarette and lights up. Blue-grey smoke wafts around your heads.
‘I like how the parade is a big part of the day now. It has a different feel to it than the service in the morning. It is more a celebration of nationhood than an expression of pain and loss. Thousands of people gather in capital cities to watch servicemen and women, current and former, march through town. I see the media broadcasts it as well now. It’s great to see the legend of our sacrifice live on. Everyone’s paying their respects to the dead and those who risked their lives for your freedom.’
He bids you farewell and walks off.
You watch the parade, a lavish affair that lasts until late morning. You’ve got enough material from your interview to file your report.
Mr Callister was impressed with your report on the Anzac legend, and how you discussed the perspective of the veteran. In this report he wants you to compare two perspectives. You remember the words of your old-time mentor, Emma Pratt (now retired), ‘Comparing is identifying the characteristics two things have in common, and what is different about them as well.’
Compare the perspectives of the two veterans by completing the table.
|Jeremy Sandover||Daniel Rowley|
|Favourite thing about Anzac Day|
|What they don’t like about Anzac Day|
|Two adjectives to describe their attitude to Anzac Day|
|Quote showing their attitude towards Anzac Day|
Now write 3–4 sentences answering the question: How are the two perspectives similar or different? Give evidence for your answer.
You file your report. As it turns out, it is to be your final report as a journalist! When you return to the office, you find there is a lot going on!