ANZAC DAY 2011
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ANZAC DAY 2011
Anzac Day 2008 will be the same as previous years; we form up at 10 AM in Elizabeth Street opposite David Jones. After the march our reunion luncheon will be at City Tattersalls Club in Pitt Street Sydney. The cost of the lunch will be $40 per head and our ladies and friends are welcome. Bookings must be made and paid for by Sunday 1 April 2008 to . The new committee would appreciate your support this year, as we have lost so many of our loyal supporters.
A SOLDIER DIED TODAY

He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the RSL Club,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his mates;
They were heroes, every one.
 
And 'tho sometimes to his neighbours
His tales became a joke,
All his mates listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Bob has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a soldier died today.
He won't be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.
 
He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing,
'tho a Soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country
And offers up his life?

The politician's stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.
  
It's so easy to forget them,
For it is so many times,
That our Bobs and Jims
Went to battle, but we still pine.

It was not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our Country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever waffling stand,
Or would you want a Soldier,
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Soldier,
Who would fight until the end?
He was just a common Soldier,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honour
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
At the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline
in the paper that might say:
"OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A SOLDIER DIED TODAY."

©Copyright 1987 by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

Larry Vaincourt has been writing for many years and has been published across Canada and the United States. His volumes of prose and poetry, “Don’t Burn the Biffy” and “Just a Common Soldier and Other Poems” are available for purchase through his website. http://iwvpa.net/vaincourtal/index.php
He is probably best known for his moving poem “Just a Common Soldier (A Soldier Died Today)”, which has been reprinted thousands of times worldwide. It was featured in Ann Landers column on Memorial Day 2001, and broadcast on the ART BELL COAST-TO-COAST radio show in November 2001.