Leaving Jerusalem by Route 1, when traffic is moving, is a wonder.
So many cars, so much construction with new wider roads and multiple lanes.
Oh the contrast, remembering the early days of one lane winding up and down the mountain.
Alongside the highway, light rail construction is even more impressive.
Rising up and over the valley and stretching into the entrance to Jerusalem are new train tracks.
Driving south to Beer Sheva on Route 6 is also a sharp contrast to the old days of narrow roads.
Not only has SodaStream in the Negev grown in size,
but from barren sand, a new industrial park is growing next to the SodaStream complex.
The Beer Sheva ANZAC Museum opened two years ago in time for the 100 years commemorations.
Inside is a display of World War I military items, boots, hat, and a trumpet.
While our guide Colin explained the ANZAC (Australia New Zealand Army Corps) role in the 1917 war in Palestine, I was fascinated by digital posters.
Why would these young, very young, Australian and New Zealanders travel halfway around the world to fight in a war so far away from home?
But they did enlist. And the Light Horsemen from Down Under came to assist the British army fight the Ottoman Empire.
Having toured Beer Sheva in the past, Allenby’s place in the story of Beer Sheva is well known.
However, the video in the ANZAC Museum was new.
Old black and white photos from World War I do not tell the story as effectively.
The war was not going well for the British army before the ANZACs arrived by boat with their magnificent horses.
Without water. In the desert heat with flies and sand and lice, the options were few and demanded immediate action.
They charged. Those crazy Aussies and Kiwis! Sorry, I could only get a blurry photo from the video, they were galloping too fast.
The Light Horsemen charged mounted on their prize horses to the surprise of Turkish soldiers – right at them, jumping over the shocked enemies heads and out of weapon range.
They made it to Beer Sheva, to the wells, which were found safe and intact.
The Australians lost 32 soldiers.
The New Zealanders lost 31 soldiers.
From the victory in Beer Sheva, the British forces went on to turn back the last of the Ottoman Empire, arriving in Jerusalem on December 9, 1917.
Each year on October 31, there is a memorial ceremony in Beer Sheva.
In 2017, there was a major 100-year ceremony and commemoration.
I thought it appropriate to take a minute to remember those young ANZAC soldiers who never made it back home.