After 29 years of living in Perth, I finally got my a$$ into gear and attended an ANZAC Day dawn service. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years but in recent times I’ve either been too hungover, still up partying from the night before, or just plain lazy.
I’ve also never had anyone to go with as no-one I know really likes to get up early.
But since I’m leaving Perth in a few weeks and have never even seen a sunrise over King’s Park, I decided it was time! So this morning I woke up early and went along on my own.
And after finally doing it, here’s why I think every Australian should attend an ANZAC day dawn service at least once…
It’s such an important part of our history and attending an event like this really makes you take the time to pause and reflect on how far we’ve come as a nation. Not only that, but to be grateful for everything those who have fought for our country sacrificed for us.
It’s one of those rare moments where you actually have to be silent and just be in the moment. A time to really look around and appreciate everything you have.
A quote from Brigadier Moore’s address really stood out to me this morning, “freedom only survives as long as there are people who are willing to defend it.”
We are so lucky to live in a country where we have freedom and to get up early one morning of the year to pay our respects should come as second nature.
As I watched the sunrise over our beautiful city, witnessed dignitaries laying their wreaths at the war memorial. Listened to the bugle playing the famed last post, planes flying overhead, and the reading of the ode. I felt so proud to call Australia home.
In our fast paced lives, we often need reminders like this to really appreciate what we’ve got.
And so, if you’ve never been to an ANZAC Day dawn service, I strongly urge you to go. It’s a truly touching experience and something every Australian should do.
Lest we forget.
If you do decide to go next year, here’s some things you should know…
- All the roads surrounding Kings Park are blocked off, the closest parking I found was the Wilson Parking at 256 St Georges Terrace (not far from the Barrack Arch). This is only a short walk to Kings Park.
- The service starts at 6am but people start arriving anytime from 4am. I got to the city around 4.30am and had plenty of time to park, walk, and secure myself a spot with a decent view of the service.
- There are screens all around the park to view the service on if you don’t get a good enough viewing spot at the memorial.
- After the dawn service finishes, there is an Aboriginal corroboree and Maori haka performance. Be quick if you want to get a good spot to see all the action. I was too busy taking photos of the sunrise and by the time I got there I couldn’t find a spot with a good view. However, if you’re not afraid of running with the dancers go to the back of the crowd, as the dancers move into a closer circle you can move in with them and whilst you don’t get a good view of the front most of the time, you still get to see everything and get to be right amongst the action.