"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."
- Ode of Remembrance by Lauren Binyon
Today is a pretty big day on the Australian calendar and it's a good opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices our forebears made. Both of my grandfathers served in the second world war and I used to march with my mother's father's unit (the 6th division) in the Sydney parade as a descendent.
My grand-dad, Ted, did something that was pretty unusual for his time - he took a video camera to war. Before he died he narrated the images he took and sent them to the war memorial in Canberra. I tracked down the footage last August and I'm publishing it on YouTube for the first time today. It shows the troops marching out, rugby in North Africa and the only existing footage of the Japanese surrender in Borneo.
My favourite part is at 48:12. Ted tells the story of getting his watched fixed in Tel Aviv while on leave. The man in the store, Julius, refused to accept any money from an Aussie soldier and the two men became good friends. From then on, whenever on leave in Jerusalem, he would spend time with Julius and his family.
His are just one of many Anzac stories and I'm sure there are many more amongst the readers. To each of you, I hope you have a chance to reflect today. And now, more than ever: lest we forget.