[Forum] It was a Remembrance Day to remember on the Peninsula. The sun was shining and the sky was blue, as a crowd gathered on the waterfront reserve next to the War Memorial at Ettalong.
People slowly arrived, most on foot, as parking had long been taken.
I was approached by a lady giving out small red poppies to place on your clothing and shortly later another happy soul giving out printed programs.
The event was the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day or the last day of World War 1, November 11, 1918.
I sat alongside an elderly gentleman who later admitted that his grandfather, father and his brothers and he had served 68 years of service in the army.
Many of the older men dressed in suits proudly displayed their medals while wives and children stood and sat waiting for the ceremony to commence.
A brass band started up with “Keep the home fires burning” and a re-enactment group of soldiers fully dressed and armed paraded in front of us.
The ceremony had commenced and our company announced our acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land and a welcome to this Remembrance Day event.
Kayaks along with a police rescue boat, surf club boats plus other leisure craft could be seen just off the seawall.
The crowd which had now swollen to about 600, now rose to pray and to sing “O God,our help in ages past”.
The singing was interrupted by a flyover of three biplanes in a triangular formation, with waving and clapping by an enthused audience.
More speakers and an act of remembrance by the Rev Arthur Peace followed, and the laying of wreaths on the Memorial Wall.
Finally the playing of the Last Post echoed out over our heads and across the waters of Ettalong Beach.
They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old.
We will remember them.
Lest We Forget.
A ceremony that will remain in the memories of most who attended, not flashy and formal, but honest with a humility most fitting for the occasion.
Email, 12 Nov 2018, Rod Fountain, Booker Bay