Not a Hero
The ANZAC Day march was over – the old Digger had done his best.
His body ached from marching – it was time to sit and rest.
He made his way to a park bench and sat with lowered head.
A young boy passing saw him – approached and politely said,
“Please sir do you mind if I ask you what the medals you wear are for?
Did you get them for being a hero, when fighting in a war?”
Startled, the old Digger moved over and beckoned the boy to sit.
Eagerly the lad accepted – he had not expected this!
“First of all I was not a hero,” said the old Digger in solemn tone,
“But I served with many heroes, the ones that never came home.
So when you talk of heroes, it’s important to understand,
The greatest of all heroes gave their lives defending this land.
“The medals are worn in their honour, as a symbol of respect.
All diggers wear them on ANZAC Day – it shows they don’t forget.”
The old digger then climbed to his feet and asked the boy to stand.
Carefully he removed the medals and placed them in his hand.
He told him he could keep them – to treasure throughout his life,
A legacy of a kind – left behind – paid for in sacrifice.
Overwhelmed the young boy was speechless – he couldn’t find words to say.
It was there the old Digger left him – going quietly on his way.
In the distance the young boy glimpsed him – saw him turn and wave goodbye.
Saddened he sat alone on the bench – tears welled in his eyes.
He never again saw him ever – but still remembers with pride,
When the old Digger told him of Heroes and a young boy sat and cried.
Clyde Hamilton (Poem sourced from www.anzacday.org.au)