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.
Our family, like millions of others, have lost loved ones to war.
From the nightmare of Gallipoli to the mud of France, battles at sea to the scorching sands of Egypt and the jungles of Vietnam they fought, some died, the rest were changed men.
Their women kept things going at home, through the constant worry and fear, the hard work, deprivation and loneliness.
The children missed their fathers, grew up too fast, saw too much.
As a cadet I proudly marched through the streets on Anzac Day. Back then there were still a fair few Anzacs and WWI veterans. I remember the old men with tears in their eyes, medals polished, proudly determined to show their respect to fallen comrades.
There are no Anzacs left now, in fact barely any veterans of WWII survive, and the Vietnam Vets, so badly treated in their time, are now old men. It is therefore up to us, the younger generations, to ensure that their sacrifice, strength, honour and mateship are not lost to history.
We must listen to the lessons of the past. Too many young men and women are still giving their lives around the world in war. Families are still suffering. Nothing ever truly changes.
So today I attend the Dawn Service in your Honour.
I will no doubt shed a tear for the young lives irrevocably changed so that we may be free. I do not pray often, but today I will.
Finally, I would just like to take this opportunity to simply say...