Sunday, 6 October 2013

International Fleet Review

Last night we watched the broadcast of the fireworks dispaly from the International Fleet Review on television.

Wow! Tremendous! Fabulous!
It must have been wonderful to have been there and actually seen and heard it.

For anyone who does not know what I am talking about there are some good links from the various news services. The International Fleet Review is a naval tradition and celebrated 100 years since the first Australian Navy ships officially entered Sydney Harbour.
Some of the tall ships and a couple of sightseeing craft too.

On Friday tall ships from many nations entered the harbour. An incredible sight. Unfortunately it was a rather wet day so the ships had to motor in rather than use full sail. Traffic over the Sydney harbour bridge crawled along as people watched the spectacle.

Yesterday the war ships entered. So many. Such a huge force to be seen together. Sailors stood on the deck as a display of respect. Thousands of people watched from the shores.

Prince Harry reviewed the fleet and attended official functions.
Prince Harry performed his royal duties and charmed the crowd. He and the Governor General, Quentin Bryce, reviewed the fleet. The press did an excellent job of providing positive stories about Harry. He seems a normal sort of bloke caught up in a very non-normal lifestyle. Quentin Bryce gave many stunning speeches as usual.

Last night was the official display. We saw an incredible show beamed onto the roof of the opera house. Lights. Lasers. And the most enormous fireworks display you could ever imagine.

Our Governor General
Quentin Bryce
Was it a waste of money? Definitely not. I lived through the return of defence personnel after Vietnam. I lived with people who after World War II were told never to talk about those events and never to ask. Both those ideas were wrong. We do need to thank the warriors who work so we all benefit. They are all brave.

The Royal Australian Navy does not just fight in wars. They rescue people. They bring aid. They transport goods, equipment, and people. The RAN provides education and training to their personnel who later use that to make useful lives as civilians. The disciplined lifestyle gives a shape that people use in many aspects of life.

A lot of money is spent on the Royal Australian Navy. Tax-payers money. We do not get all this for free. Our money. Our people. Our lives. Our country and its way of life.  The defence force personnel as well as the Australian people need to thank everyone and celebrate. The International Fleet Review was a marvellous way to celebrate.

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