Today always does something to my soul. It aches just a little more and more as each year passes. Today is ANZAC Day! Ninety-six years after the Gallipoli landing and 88 years after the first Anzac Day dawn service pride in our service personnel and the remembrance of those fallen grows deeper ever year in the heart of all those with compassion and certainly in the heart of this return service person. I served for 12 years and sadly saw the coffins of friends and colleague return home.
But today I didn’t go to a dawn service, why you might ask? Today I wanted to mark it my own way as I know my little brother to will be marking it in his own way which is he does every year he can’t be at a dawn service. Last year I stood on the roof of a compound in Afghanistan as a civilian and looked out over the town of Kunduz thinking of all those brave men and women. This year I raised the curtain in my apartment and watched the sun rise to the east though the cloud and dust haze in Dubai. The one reason I really didn’t go to a dawn service was simply I would rather be alone in my thoughts this morning than around a huge crowd of expats that didn’t know me. I wanted to cry this year more than the last few and without my mates or family surrounding a silent prayer this year seemed more appropriate.
For some reason more than ever I wanted to watch the sun rise, read the immortal words read at every dawn service and cry alone. Because today I remember everyone I have lost and I remember everyone who so gallantly died in battle. Some months back I got the words ‘Angels guide heroes home’ tattooed above my heart right were my medals would sit and this morning when I saw them in the mirror I know that whilst my military service is long ended my pride and respect for every service person grows stronger every year and my heart is with those currently in dusty hot places rather than back home with their families.
I read an article that Ben Robert-Smith Australia’s latest VC receipt spoke about recently of heroes and brave people. Heroes like Ben, or RS as he is better known as, and SGT Matty Locke the fallen hero of RS are men that touch my soul. The following is the ‘The Ode’ which each time is spoken or read I think of all the heroes out there in graves unmarked or back on Australian soil and I remember them:
They shall grow not old, as we that 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
The sun has risen on this day and to 99% of people in Dubai today is just another day; to me it will always be a day to remember the sacrifices of those gone before.
This photo is taken by my mother at dawn back in Australia. Its like God put red in the sky for us to truly remember the reasons why we commemorate today.