ANZAC day in lockdown (Aussie/Kiwi version of Memorial Day)

  • April 25th each year we pay our respects to past and current members of our armed forces and allied services. Ironically, the day chosen honours a great defeat by the Turks at Gallipoli in 1915.

    Like most of the world, we're in lock-down and so the usual ANZAC day public gatherings were not possible. Many people replaced the usual dawn service with a driveway service - stand, in physical isolation, at the entrance to your driveway, with a candle. A few days back James Morrison suggested that all brass players should get out and play the Last Post and Reveille.

    Last night as I was contemplating whether or not to participate, I got a message from the drummer in my community band, a naval vet, asking if I'd be making some noise this morning. Thinking also of my grandad and several great uncles who served in WW2 and mates who went to various conflicts since, I set the alarm clock for 5:30 AM.

    As 6AM approached, I could see lights on in a couple of houses and could faintly hear the service from our national war museum on a distant radio. At 6AM I played the Last Post for the first time in over 40 years, then after a minute of silence, played Reveille (Rouse). As I lowered the horn a man holding a young child and his wife called out "thank-you mate" from a couple of houses away. A little later there was a knock on the door - a man asked "was that you playing the bugle this morning?" One of the neighbours had been sent over by his wife with a thank-you card containing the message below. That's why I'm tearing up writing this post. It's a reminder that we're privileged to be able to make music and really, "louder/faster/higher" means diddly-squat.

  • Qualified Repair Techs

    Every time I was called on to play Last Post while in the Navy I spent a few days memorizing so I wouldn’t have to carry a flip - looks better that way! The last time I recorded a few phone videos to make sure I had it right and sent one to my mum. She sent it to our cousin in Newfoundland, who cried. That’s when I knew I had it right! 😊 I won’t be playing outside today - it’s raining and my current neighbors wouldn’t know what it was, anyway.

  • That's a touching story and a sweet letter. We need more of that.

    Regarding Gallipoli - made me sick.
    And regarding playing a bugle at 06:00 A.M - not before my morning espresso. 😈

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