Today I remember my Grandfather, a Sergeant in the Royal Australian Air Force in World War II. He was responsible for getting the (hopelessly inadequate) Australian fighter planes in the air, in the middle of the Papua New Guinea jungle. He was also responsible for many men, some of whom he watched be taken away with 'shell shock', some killed in action. Men who had spoken to him about their hopes and dreams of having a family and building a life back home in Australia. Men who had sobbed with anguish after killing a Japanese soldier in self defence and then finding the picture they carried of their wife and children back in Japan .. "decency in the face of dreadful odds". My Grandfather always cried when he spoke about his men. He received the highest award in the Australian Air Force and I doubt they could have had a better Sergeant, despite the fact that he was only 19.
My Grandfather was the finest person I have ever met. For this reason, and so many others, Anzac Day holds a special place in my heart. The Anzacs did so much for us and for the world.
Lest We Forget.