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A commemorative carpet of red
This year of 2015 marks 100 years since the bloody battle in Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire where over 10,000 Australian and New Zealanders lost their lives. The day of remembrance on 25th April will see many events and services taking place. In Gosford on the Central Coast, locals have been busy with a commemorative art project put in place by the council to honour those fallen.
Free poppy making kits were made available to schools, community groups and individuals to participate. The completed handmade poppies, which could be dedicated to someone special, were then gathered at libraries in preparation for the installation. A flowing field of red will be formed from the city's Memorial Park into Rotary Park on the waterfront. A powerful gesture of gratitude for the sacrifices made during World War I, this carpet of red can be viewed from 17-27 April.
Getting the young involved: Kids from Kariong Child Centre
The red poppy, or Flanders Poppy, has long been associated with the Anzacs and remembrance of them as it grew in the trenches and craters of the battle zones of Gallipoli, France and Belgium. Soils were stirred up by artillery shells and shrapnel which exposed the seeds to sunlight, thus promoting germination and a tradition to come. They are commonly laid at war memorials on Anzac Day.
Traditions on Anzac Day are a plenty with marches, memorials with readings and recitations of poems like The Ode and In Flanders Fields, buglers playing The Last Post, a period of silence, the Rouse or the Reveille bugle calls and the National Anthem. At the cenotaph in Gosford's War Memorial Park, two services will take place - a dawn service at 6am (the time of the original landing) and then a main service at 11am. Originally, veterans only took part in the dawn service and the daytime ceremony was for families and well-wishers but in recent times families and young people have been encouraged to take part in dawn services. Following the daytime service, RSL clubs usually put on a lunch and men can be found to be playing games of two-up in the afternoon.
This and all photos courtesy of Gosford City Council
Ultimately, Anzac Day is a day to remember and a day of reunion, passing on experiences. Lest we forget.