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This morning I woke just before dawn. It is Anzac Day here in Australia. Normally I would go for a walk and greet the day with gratitude for my Dad and all the other many, many men and women who served the armed forces in their country, many who gave their lives for democracy and freedom. I remember Memorial Day in Ohio, the parade with soldiers and the finish at the cemetery. Many stones would be decorated with recently laid wreaths and flowers and a small American flag. 

I remember it, but I didn’t fully connect with the meaning until moving to my adopted country. Those small town remembrances, like the ones here in Australia connect us to our heritage. The fourth stanza from The Poem for the Fallen by Laurence Binyon is read here, its words ubiquitous for all who have passed and all who grieve, remember and honour…

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; 

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 

We will remember them.” 

I have attended ANZAC services but mostly I remember in my own way in the quiet pre-dawn hours. In my current state of incapacity I lay in bed, feet still trapped in my Frankenstein sandals, and admired the changing light outside the windows. Such a joy to be able to see trees and sky from the bed just now when I can’t walk out and find it. And then…quietly in the distance I heard the bugle sounding The Last Post from a nearby ceremony.  I thought of the words above and the words that always follow them “Lest We Forget”.