Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lest we forget

ANZAC day commemorates the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, and has become a day on which we remember the lives of all Australians lost in war time.

This year I attended dawn service at Tuross Heads, on the New South Wales coast.

We stood in the early morning darkness at a memorial site standing over the ocean - the sound of waves crashing against the beach below set the scene. The faint sound of a lone drummer grew louder as he marched closer to the memorial and signaled the start of the service.

I proudly sang We are Australian with the locals and holiday makers who had turned up this morning to pay their respects. I imaged the soldiers who fought at Gallipoli all those years ago, and wondered what the values of community, mateship and courage must have meant to them.

I noticed a burly man who stood on his own in front of me, shifting from foot to foot, constantly fidgeting as the service went on. Then as the bugler started to tune the Last Post and we all stood in a minute of silence, the burly man stood as tall as an arrow, arms straight down by his side, thumbs at his seams, still as night. Proud. As we all were.

Lest we forget.

ANZAC Day dawn service, Tuross Heads