It is ANZAC Day here in Australia, which is our day to commemorate the storming of the beaches at Gallipoli in 1915 and a day to pay our respects to all those brave people who fought and are currently fighting for our country.
I've mentioned before that I work in aged care, and I'm lucky enough to organise special events such as ANZAC Day services, which we actually held yesterday as today is a public holiday here in Oz.
I was so moved and inspired by the many memories and stories that my residents shared with us and despite being horrendously traumatic these brave people who served as infantry, in the navy, in the air force and in the AWAS, were able to express their memories with dignity, eloquence and often with humour (as befits the Aussie spirit!).
I heard tales of shattering loss, tales of amazing courage. I heard of tales that belong in history books so that everyone can read and understand the sacrifices made for the wonderful country we Aussies live in.
The brave and wonderful gentlemen and ladies that I'm blessed to know and work with served because they wanted to fight for Australia and our way of life.
But the people left behind; the mothers who said goodbye forever to beloved children; wives and girlfriends never to see their sweethearts return; family; friends, they also experienced such grief and hardship, so for all those touched by war, and those who fought (cheers to my brother who served in East Timor) and those who are currently fighting (my best wishes to Matt in Afghanistan), I salute you, and raise a glass for your courage and sacrifice.
I will never forget looking out at all of the residents who normally are bent and weary by age, standing tall and proud as the anthem played, medals shining on their breast and the love for their country clearly shining on their faces.