Moments in time

I had one of my regular blood tests this morning at the Dorevitch offices in Collins Street. I came out just on 11 o’clock and began strolling back towards work, towards Elizabeth street. I very quickly noticed something was different. The pedestrian traffic had stopped. As always there were many people on Collins street, but they were all now immobile, and all facing in the same direction – towards Elizabeth. It was a strange sight, like something you might see in a movie. Hello, I thought, there must be an accident, and I continued walking on.

Gradually I heard music drift my way on the light breeze. Suddenly I realised, and looked at my watch. Eleven am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month – Armistice Day. I came to a halt just as the bugle – which I could now hear clearly – stopped. I could see now the young army bugler standing on the corner of the intersection, dressed in his immaculately pressed khakis. As I watched he took the bugle from his lips, and as if a switch had been flicked the immobile pedestrians started on their away again – almost as if nothing had happened.

I too moved off, and a minute later looked up as some RAAF jets whooshed by overhead, properly celebrating the moment with a flyover. I was impressed. Does this always happen? I wondered. It left me with a warm feeling, moved  by how the community had stopped as one to mark the moment in time.

Earlier in the day I saw a man hit by a car as I came into work. He tried crossing against the lights on Flinders Street and with a screech of brakes was struck by an approaching vehicle. I saw it all as it happened, saw as he was lifted off his feet by the impact and how he tumbled across the bonnet and onto the ground. He was lucky the car had been traveling slowly, and quickly braked. He got up, a smile on his face as like later in the day everyone had stopped. The woman next to me groaned at the sight. But he was okay. Badly bruised I guess, in body and ego, he went on to catch his tram.

Another day in the big city.

 

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2 responses to “Moments in time

  1. Seeing something like that would give me chills (the rememberance day thing). If you don’t go to an actual Nov 11 service or anything here then no-one even notices the hour slip past. Last year we were in Melb for Nov 11 and tried to make it to the shrine in time but caught the wrong tram from St Kilda and ended up way out in the suburbs by mistake…so we observed our minutes silence on the tram wondering how on earth to get back to the city :) how many of those bugle players would they have in the city do u reckon?

  2. Yes, it was quite eerie. What it actually reminded me of was one of those B-grade American zombie movies where everyone is regimented, they turn around and their eyes are all grey or something!
    I’ve never noticed this commemoration before. I’ve been in joints where we have a minutes silence, but never seen a bugler on the street like today. I presume they did it in other parts of the city as well, which would be pretty neat.
    90th anniversary this year, so maybe they made an extra effort.

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