As per normal we had arranged for the Wattle wreath to be delivered and to the cenotaph. Every year there is a new florist assistant and I always ask for their boss, she understands after 22 years in the Navy.
Here is a poem which I think says it all of why we march and continue to march.
I saw a kid marchin’ with medals on his chest.
He marched alongside Diggers marching six abreast.
He knew that it was ANZAC Day - he walked along with pride.
He did his best to keep in step with the Diggers by his side.
And when the march was over the kid was rather tired.
A Digger said “Whose medals, son?” to which the kid replied:
“They belong to daddy, but he did not come back.
He died up in New Guinea on a lonely jungle track”.
The kid looked rather sad then and a tear came to his eye.
The Digger said “Don’t cry my son and I will tell you why.
Your daddy marched with us today - all the blooming way.
We Diggers know that he was there - it’s like that on ANZAC Day”.
The kid looked rather puzzled and didn’t understand,
But the Digger went on talking and started to wave his hand.
“For this great land we live in, there’s a price we have to pay
For we all love fun and merriment in this country where we live.
The price was that some soldier his precious life must give.
For you to go to school my lad and worship God at will,
Someone had to pay the price so the Diggers paid the bill.
Your daddy died for us my son - for all things good and true.
I wonder if you understand the things I’ve said to you”.
The kid looked up at the Digger - just for a little while
And with a changed expression, said, with a lovely smile:
“I know my dad marched here today - this is ANZAC Day.
I know he did. I know he did, all the bloomin’ way”.
(A veteran of Shaggy Ridge with the 2/12 Battalion in WW2