I had a moving experience in Atherton, Queensland in August. I happened to be camping in the War Memorial grounds at Rocky Creek, which council make available – awesome. By chance there was a memorial and dedication of new plaques happening on Sunday morning. It was a very nice event. For me events like this always remind me of my wife Haidee, who was in the British Navy. She passed away in 2011, and I will always remember her coffin draped in the Union Jack – something that I know she would have been quietly incredibly proud of. Anyway, I got chatting to an old guy who was there laying a wreath for his old platoon. Stan. As we were chatting I noticed his medals, and the fact he was an MBE, so I can only assume he had a highly distinguished service record. We chatted for 15 minutes or so. He re-lived some memories, shared some stories, and it was really nice. But the thing that affected me, was just as we left. We said goodbye, and turned, and just as we did, he half turned back and said “Thank you for listening.”
He thanked me.
This is a man who had maybe killed others in war. Likely seen friends die in battle. And the simple act of me taking 15 minutes to listen to his memories resulted in him thanking me. The thanks due was all mine. Lest We Forget actually means something very real.