Apr 27, 2017 - Posted by: Prickle

ANZAC DAY 2017... Has it changed?

As with most years my ANZAC Day is spent with mates that have served and are serving and are also part of the motorcycle scene here in Brisbane Australia. Each year the crowd grows in ever increasing numbers of people that come to the Bunker to show their respects for those that....

paid the ultimate sacrifice and to those that have served their country and have fought for our and others freedoms. This year it’s been estimated near on 600 people attended this ceremony. Which has even out done the 100th anniversary year, this is great to see the respect and patriotism shown at this Dawn Service.

The stillness of the predawn puts me in a state of mind that all I can think of is what must it of been like on that morning about to hit that beach at Gallipoli, to hear that command on that day. Not knowing if your next breath could be your last. Most of the traffic on the roads, you could be pretty sure they were heading to where ever they spend their dawn service,  as we spend it at the Vietnam Veterans and Veterans Motorcycle Club every year. Personally I appreciate the way in which the gentlemen at this dawn service do so in a way that is to the point and draws you to that most important fact of remembrance.

As the flags are positioned to half-mast to that position which commemorates the loss of life, every noise is amplified in the silence of the predawn sky. The Logan City Cadets take their orders and position themselves around the cenotaph with utmost precision. After the official speeches and the reading of on Flanders Field, all the while the awakening of the Australia bush awakes around us and we hear the songs of the birds that are starting their day as was happening on those very days of these wars. Then the lone piper starts to play, it is the only sound one can hear as the wreaths are laid and poppies positioned on the cenotaph. The last is when both the Australian and this year the New Zealand national anthem were played by the piper and snare drum accompaniment.

At the end of the ceremony it was announced like every year the ladies of the members of the VVMC and VMC will have egg and bacon rolls on the go for anyone wanting to partake. Rum and milk was available for those that partake, the thanks for your service were heard and the handshakes given, the stories flowed and the catch up conversations happened as the crowd flowed and the breakfast lineup grew, again the precision in which it all happens is a military thing I’m sure. It is great to see all these bikers in one place showing their respect and it goes against what the media tries to paint a completely different picture, but we prove them wrong at every turn.

We have until 9 o’clock to catch up, then as the pre ride into town run down is done 15 minutes before we leave, so anybody that hasn’t done the yearly ride into town knows what is expected. The call is given the bikes come to life and everybody makes their way out the gate then group up on the top road in order and into town they go.

I don’t like to bring this up, but I feel as many I’ve spoken with believe this is to important not to mention. This brings me to something that happened, that has not happened before and saddens me and many others greatly. Every year the VV&VMC and along with the riders that accompany them, have been given permission to park along the street that all the military vehicles that are used in the march park and the older people are put in the vehicle so they can participate. From where we park to where they march and we view the march is just but a short walk. Well this year the roads was blocked and the police were telling us we no longer are parking there. What could be fathomed at the time from this kafuffle is there was some kind of heightened alert on terrorism. The police officer that the VV & V MC President spoke to, made a statement that the VV&VMC should know as they were contacted yesterday, which the Vietnam Veterans and Veterans President replied, they had not been contacted, as if they had been the fact other arrangements would have been made.

So everyone was left in a place that they all had to find their own parking now which is very hard to do, might I just add this happened streets away from where these aging veterans, some of who have to be wheeled in wheel chairs had to start their march from. This again beggars belief of how our veterans are treated. All the while this was happening, people were seen more than likely tourists from foreign lands were walking freely right alongside the actual march with their big bags on wheels, which could have held many kilos of explosives not having to go through check points to have their luggage checked. So who have been looked upon as the threat but our very own veterans that have served and are still serving are treated in such a manner by a police service that haven’t got a clue on what has occurred for many years, being able to have adequate parking to take part in this yearly march with their fellow military personal, and for the rest of us to give thanks to those that have made and are making a sacrifice for our country.  You may have picked it, that I’m annoyed, well you are correct, I am annoyed at those that have stopped people from going about their daily business, in this case the police that hadn’t thought this out. It has  also come to light many others missed marching with their mates because of this happening, as they weren’t able to get to where they needed to be. Our Governments tell us all repeatedly, that acts and threats of terrorism should not and should never stop or change our daily routine, to do so would allow the terrorists to win. We shouldn’t allow it to change what we do, we should continue to take part in these historic events, but then this happens!!!

So why is it then on this one day of the year that we pay respect to the ones that fought and died for our freedoms, only then to have our freedoms taken away from them that fought and us to go about our normal routine we are treated in a way that makes one feel they are the enemy. This brings back memories of how the Vietnam Veterans were treated on their return from the battle fields all those years ago.

The Governments of this nation need to have a long hard look in the mirror and implement ways to work with the people that have made the commitment and to make it easier to attend these major events. I will be, as I hope you will be writing to local members about this and to the Qld Premier and the Police Minister as this should have been handled in a manner much better than it was, no excuses for what happened could be accepted, the authorities have had enough time and training and have been provided training at great expense of the tax payers dollars to be able to handle any situation and the way this was handled, could only be seen as their usual bully boy way and in a very unprofessional manner.

Let us hope this can be sorted out in a way that is amicable to all involved. That this day is and can continue for many more generations as a day to pay our respect and remembrance to the military that they so rightly deserve. So I hope after reading this it has made you more eager to show our respects and you might want to come and be part of the day with these gentlemen. Well I’ve been advised you all are more than welcome to spend this special day with the Blokes at the Vietnam Veterans & Veterans Motorcycle Club Dawn Service and all other activities that the day may bring. Hope to see you here next year.

Write-Up & Photos

by Steve Prickle Clancy

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