In the run up to Anzac Day I felt an element of unease about the commemorations. I decided not to attend any events but instead to quietly mark the day at home.
I was tired out by the time I got to bed Friday night and I was glad that I didn’t have to set the alarm for an early wakeup. I slept soundly. Then it was 4.37 am and I was wide awake with the words LEST WE FORGET booming in my mind. I thought what the heck: looks like I am going to the dawn service after all. And, naturally, I was thankful that I did.
It is our young people who do it for me. And praise to the organisers, especially Coolum-Peregian RSL president Bill Powell, who allow our young people a voice. It is wonderful, inspiring, reassuring to know there is such a brilliant crop of them. The high school students nailed it with their speeches brimming with thankfulness, respect, and inclusiveness. Who could not be touched by the innocence in the voices of the children’s choir; and the sometimes quavering last post by Harry in Year 6 was so deeply, deeply moving precisely because the rendition wasn’t perfect.
Later down at the beach for the oar salute, it came so strongly to me that what I have is life and I damned well better make the most of it!