Today, the morning of the 25th, I planned to March with my Battalion Association in Melbourne. I wanted to see how many were still alive and attend the traditional ANZAC day football match at the MCG. My wife is an MCC member.
But those plans were made in December – pre Covid19. The marches, services, barbecues and football are cancelled. They want to save all us old farts.
The last time I marched was about 1970. It was a duty back then. The battalion practiced for weeks. We were bored by it all and the constant complaining about militarism from the Anti Vietnam protesters.
I think it was that year, as the youngest officer, I carried the Regimental colors. About three days before the march a University colleague told us that a group of Melbourne University protestors were planning to interrupt the march mid city and try to seize the Colors. I told this guy to tell his friends they would find out that the fixed bayonets of the color guard were not for decoration nor was my sword, even if it didn’t have an edge. I wasn’t joking. We were unmolested.
This ANZAC day, think of the frontline healthcare staff who are fighting our battles for us as well as our troops overseas. Think of them and the battles to come.