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My blog expresses my views and thoughts and in no way intends to offend however that does not guarantee it wont.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lest We Forget

In the
pre-dawn light a crowd gathers to remember. The scouts and rovers have held an all night vigil. The dawn rises over the city as the bugle sounds the last post. And the crowd is silent as the haunting notes float out over the city.

Later an old man sits in a hospital car as it drives down the road and when asked how he is feeling he answers "fantastic - just look at this crowd, it gets bigger every year". Another old man sits in an open truck, splendid in his best suit and his old army beret, his medals proudly sitting on the left side of this chest and those of his relatives on the right - 3 lots in all. Medals that look heavy on his slight frame. As the truck gets to the dais he lurches to his feet and stands straight, holding on tightly with one arthritic hand but of so proud as he takes the salute, his arm snapping to his head - he has not forgotten even all these years later - he is 99.

A woman sits at home watching this unfold on TV with tears falling from her eyes for all those lost and all those that came back who proudly march or get driven in the hospital cars on this special Australian and New Zealand Day. She can not bring herself to go to the dawn service or the march as she knows that she will sob loudly as they pass and that is not what they need. They need the cheering children waving their flags. She does not understand why this day touches her heart so strongly, but it does. Could it be the tens of thousands of men and women who answered their countries call - a generation nearly lost on fields so far from home. Could it be the indifference that those conscripts in the the 60s and 70s suffered when they returned from their war. Could it be that lives are still being lost in Afghanistan. Can it be that being a wife and a mother she now understands how lucky she is not to have lost one of her own and so she grieves for all those mothers and wives who have?

They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. Lest we forget.

Let us never forget, let us show the pride and courage of the generations now gone and those that are now dwindling in numbers for they too will be gone before long. Let us remember the forgotten soldiers who did not have the chance to volunteer but were conscripted and who did our country proud in a war that no-one wanted. Let us remember the wives and mothers for they too paid the ultimate price. Let us as a country continue to remember for we do them a disservice if we forget.

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