Sunday, July 3, 2011

Canberra Day Trip

While everyone was celebrating the 4th of July with fireworks and barbecues, the Backscheiders have been busy exploring Australia's capital city Canberra.  Hope to Parliament and the famous War Memorial, celebrating veterans isn't just a pastime in Australia, it is a way of life.  Anzac day (April 25th) is the biggest holiday of the year to commemorate the 100k soldiers that have given their lives for Australia. Every town has a lawn bowling league (boccie ball) and retired servicemen center that offers free hot meals to those who have served their country.  In general, I feel the respect paid to veterans here would put Americans to shame.  That being said, there are far fewer and between.

Australia War Memorial, Canberra
We took a walk-in tour of the parliament building and saw the argument chamber where current prime minister, Julia Guillard sits.  The entire city was built and planned with the intention of making it the state capital.  Australian government is relatively new with the first prime minister voted in in 1901.  They are still part of the commonwealth of Great Brittain, meaning the queens birthday is a national holiday.  The very modern structure of the parliament house was designed with a lawn on top for protests.

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