My son is part of his local scout group and every year they get the opportunity to take part in the Anzac Day march. JJ wasn’t going to do it but then decided that he would. I’m so glad he did.
We got hold of his great-great uncle’s medals so he could wear them on the day. Uncle Alf was in the army in Papua New Guinea in World War II and JJ got to hold a banner for the 2nd/14th Australian Field Regiment, also part of World War II. I don’t know what unit Uncle Alf was in.
We had to get there at 8am, so we didn’t go to the dawn service this year like we did last year as we had plans for afterwards and it would have made a very long day.
After a while they line up in the order they’re going to march in. As his scout group was holding the 2nd World War signs, they were towards the front of the march. Unfortunately there were no soldiers left from their regiments to march with them. Uncle Alf died about 14 years ago and he was in his early 80s, and when you consider that the 2nd World War ended nearly 70 years ago, there wouldn’t be too many of them left.
Finally at around 9.30 they started marching. It’s about a 1.5km march – not too long for young legs, or the older ones. I walked more or less alongside so I could take photos.
I got a real buzz from being there and watching my son march. I could tell that he was really getting into it and I was really proud of him. The ladies below caught my eye and I couldn’t resist taking a photo of them.
As I’d never been to a march before it was great to see so many people go along and support the participants and clap as people walked past. I think this helped JJ feel a large amount of pride at participating.
Then before we knew it, his part of the march was over and the SES volunteers collected their signs.
Then he plopped down on the ground as though he’d run a marathon.
Here’s a close-up of the medals. As far as I can tell they’re service medals. They’re pretty heavy and they didn’t fall off. I was so worried that he’d somehow lose them.
The smile on his face sums up how he felt about the whole experience.
We walked back towards the start and the march was still going so we got to see more recent soldiers from Vietnam, Afghanistan, East Timor etc before we ducked across the road to head home.
He does look very proud – and what a lovely experience to honour so well.
He was very proud, and I was very proud of him.