Sunday, April 25, 2010

The End of the Beginning

I've just got home after performing in a special matinee performance of our WWI play for Anzac Day. I'm not sure how many old Diggers were in the audience, but, if there were any, I hope we did them proud. The actor playing the main character wore his Great-grandfather's WWI medals for the curtain call. They included a Military Cross.

That is performance number two. We opened on Saturday night and then we did this special Anzac Day matinee today, Sunday. So we have six more performances left in the season.

On the way to the theatre, I was listening to the car radio and they were reporting on the various Anzac Day commemorations around the country. Quite unbidden, tears came to my eyes. Am I getting to be a sentimental old fool?

I couldn't help thinking about my Dad, who flew Hurricanes for the RAF in the Middle East during WWII.  He died in 1995, aged 83. He always turned out for the Dawn Parade, right up until shortly before he died.

I have never had to know war or fighting in a war. I hope my two sons will never experience war either. It may be a hoary old cliche, but we do owe a huge debt of gratitude to those men like my Dad and the many comrades of his who didn't return. And the men who went before them in WWI.

There aren't many WWII veterans still alive. Let us cherish and respect those who are still amongst us. "At the going down of the sun and in the morning, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM."

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