I need a drink.

Not necessarily alcoholic. But rum is traditional.

And not because I want to feel slightly woozy at 5am in the morning.

But because of an old man.


A sailor.

As yet another Anzac Day dawns I will no doubt reflect on dad's time away from home, at war, of the sacrifices he made to be there, as well as the ones of his newlywed, left to keep the home fires burning, while their lives went on hold.

Dad served with the Royal Navy during the Korean conflict. His wasn't the worst war story. His does not involve the muck and mud and mustard gas of trench warfare like his dad's.

But like most, he came home with less people than when he started out. As, no doubt, did his enemy.

My first sip is to him.

My second is to all those who have served in defense of our way of life through service in theatres abroad, often violent, and always at degrees of personal sacrifice.

We may abhor war. And should. But sometimes we are called upon to step up and defend what we believe in.

My third and last sip is to those of us who take time to remember, or reflect.


Anzac Day's relevance may seem to fade as the years put distance between the conflicts in which our families were involved, and our own cushy lifestyles.

But there is value in being reminded how tenuous peace can be, and of how misery is but an apathy away.

Even in this relative peacetime we are often called upon to stand up for what we hold dear and believe in – freedom, justice, a chance to make a good life.

In that way the Anzac spirit lives on in us all. Be your fight climate change, or having a pedestrian crossing installed outside a local school - all who step up for a better way are worthy.

Here's to them. Bottoms up.