In the dark before dawn people from all over our little island made their way down to the main beach to gather for the dawn service. We have very few street lights here so it was just dark shadows that converged out of the night onto the site. Men, women and children. Old and young.
All the seating was very quickly taken and the crowd spread out to fill the whole park.
There was around 400 people there and on an island that only has 600 houses this was a large percentage of the inhabitants. (Many more attended the main ceremony at 10am.) The familiar words that are the service were said and as the service progressed the sun rose over the bay.
Yesterday I was up on the Darling Downs and as we drove past small country schools we saw those communities all gathering for the school services. This is the one occasion in the school calendar when there are never any behavior issues with the students. Everyone knows the significance of the day and the sacrifices that have been made.
As I stood there in the dark I thought of my father who was an airman in the Australian Air Force. The war took a terrible toll on his life but he never missed a dawn service. I think he would have liked this one.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.
Lest we Forget.