Each year the service gets bigger and I estimate that there were around 1500-2000 people there this morning. The present and past members of the SASR have a certain character about them and they show this with pride. It is too difficult to try to explain this character. How do you explain a group of men who are adventurous risk-takers, travelling the world completing missions, but who are some of the most family oriented people I have ever met?
That is what the SASR is, it's a family. Although I do not know all the families and friends in attendance at the dawn service, I feel as if I belong, as if we are all one. I shook hands and met so many people today, all of whom were interested in my story and that of my family.
I had the privilege of taking my Year Six class to the SASR Museum earlier this year. The students explored the museum and heard a lot of stories about our elite servicemen. As a class, we laid a wreath at The Rock to thank and remember all of the fallen servicemen and we also placed two bunches of flowers at the names of two soldiers my father served with. It was an emotional and extremely rewarding experience for all involved.
When we returned to school, the students decided that they wanted to thank the members of the SASR for their service to our country and for allowing us to visit. As a class they discussed writing poems of thanks and asked if I could pass them on. I was highly impressed with how motivated my students were in wanting to say thank you and allowed class time to be used to create the poems. Students wrote the final copies of their poems on a piece of card that had an Anzac picture on the front. I was immensely proud of what they had written so laminated them and passed them on to the men who helped organise the visit.
Today was one of the most powerful Anzac Day services I have been involved in. Not only because I feel like myself and my students had a part in it, but because each year I learn more about our Australian history and have a bit more of an understanding of what our troops endured.
I will forever be thankful to all who serve to protect our country, especially to my own family members who are currently in the armed forces.
We Will Remember Them.
Lest We Forget.