What does ANZAC day mean to you?
To me, it is remembering my Pop who served in the Royal Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force his entire career. A man who was incredibly proud of his career, who felt like he was nothing without it. A man who left Glasgow with minimal school education only to become a respected service man who flew alongside Bob Hawke and held one of the highest security clearances available.
It is remembering sacrifices men like him make and still ma…ke by dedicating their lives to their country. Both of my parents were born overseas due to my grandparents service to their country.
I grew up hearing stories of my dads life being moved around the country every time my Pop was re-located and also going through Cyclone Tracy while they were stationed in Darwin. I grew up singing happy birthday to my Pop over the phone while he was sent away.
I grew up, living in my Pops house when he had retired, watching him drink away his days at the Penrith RSL club, every single day until he was too frail to do it any more.
I watched my Pop pass away at 71 years old after breaking his wrist, I watched my nan suffer every day after he retired and still to this day at his loss.
Will I be going to the RSL tomorrow to drink ? No I will not be… The RSL to me is not a happy place, it is a reminder that my Pop isn’t here when he should be, it is a reminder of him sitting in the dingy old sports bar day after day by himself. Maybe if there was more support for returned service men then maybe I would still have this man who I loved like a father. Maybe my little girl “Poppy” would have met her great grandfather rather than sharing his name.
Instead I will be celebrating my Nans 76th birthday (Who holds a war widows pension due to what my Pop experienced in his career) with her as I am sure tomorrow will be full of painful memories for her also.
Will I be working ? My office will be closed but yes I will still work on some level…. I promise my clients 24/7 access to their agent irrespective of the day and that is what they will get.
If you think this is disrespectful, that is fine… you have your idea of how ANZAC day should be celebrated and I have mine.
Unfortunately today some people have taken to facebook to publically shame me for this. I do not think I should be criticised for dealing with this day in my own way.
My Pop would want me to spend tomorrow doing what ever it is that makes me happy and that is exactly what I am going to do.
Thank you to all of our service men past and present, you are true hero’s and hold my absolute highest respect however I will not drink to you tomorrow… I will remember you.
RIP Poppy xxx