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I love this photo, taken by Steven Siewert, in the early morning rain which dumped on Sydney yesterday. Wednesday the 25th of April is ANZAC Day and war memorials all over the country, and in New Zealand, have crowds gather around to remember our war dead, and living. For a period through the late seventies and eighties there was a fear these gatherings would fade out as our veterans faded away. But the dawn services and the parade that follows has a strong following today, with the younger members of our community taking a strong and real interest in the events and celebrations.
Yesterday the usual parade in Sydney took place, as did the dawn memorial service in Martin Place where it rained solidly on all who had gathered there. I don’t know Spud Murphy but he found his way onto the front page of the paper this morning. The rain is bouncing of his pate, his medals and shoulders. His suit is soaked. But he stands there as if there is no rain at all. No cringe or uncomfortable slouch. Rather a stoic and focused standing to attention with a purposeful look on his face. Knowing that he is a veteran of the Vietnam War somehow made the picture all the more poignant. Perhaps remembering places and friends and faces and his part in our history. And perhaps the sluicing rain of a Vietnam wet season. Who knows?