Allan and Mitchell Reardon ride in honour of the Australian lighthorse in the Grafton Anzac Day parade.
Allan and Mitchell Reardon ride in honour of the Australian lighthorse in the Grafton Anzac Day parade. Adam Hourigan

OUR SAY: We never stop learning

TODAY, when photographing Joan Muir OAM, fresh from becoming the first life member of the Grafton RSL Sub-Branch I asked her to show me what her best salute looked like as a bit of fun for the photo.

"Oh no," she replied. "You would never salute anybody when not wearing a hat."

>> 95yo WWWII veteran Joan Muir the first woman awarded life membership of Grafton RSL Sub-Branch 

I didn't know there were regulations about that, but just a simple conversation with her on Anzac Day opened up a world of knowledge about what she had done through the war.

And as I look back across the services held across the Clarence Valley, while the tone is one of remembrance of the service and sacrifice, there is a lot to be learnt about the wartime and military history uncovered each year.

Darin Carter recounted the story of the North Coast Boomerangs, created from the Cooee March that all those years ago marched right through where now hundreds of people surrounded the South Grafton cenotaph. I had previously learnt of the story through Greg Butcher's haunting tribute to them he composed for last year's Anzac Commemoration concert, but to hear it again today gave a sense of the scale of where it all happened.

And at the Grafton service, the school children who presented speeches on each of the major conflicts provided a different, if often analytical angle of war. Well researched, and mixed with their own personal experience, their voices held the crowd in silence listening to each one tell the stories of conflict and sacrifice.

Anzac Day honours those that serve our country, and may we never tire of those who give so much.



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