A time to reflect on fallen
WHEN the trumpet sounded and the minute silence began, Tom Ingrey reflected on the fact that 98 years had passed since WWI had ended.
Although the 82-year-old didn't fight in the war, he had relatives who did, which lead him to join the Australian Army when he was a young boy and contribute six years of service.
Tom said he sometimes considers himself as one of the lucky ones as he never fought on the battlefield but other times he considers himself unlucky because he would have liked to fight for his country.
"I would have been in the Korean war but you couldn't get overseas until you were 19 years and 10 months and I wasn't quite 19 at the time,” he said.
"I'd always wanted to join the army, it was just the thing most men did back then. I was in the Australian Army for six years in the field squad.
"I was going to join the Navy too but my old man wouldn't sign the papers because you had to be 21 back then.”
Tom, who lives in the Yeppoon area, was one of the first National Servicemen.
"Remembrance Day for me is a time to remember all of the blokes before us,” he said.
"It's a time to remember the fallen and those who were lucky enough to return home after the war and come back to their families. It's a day marked on my calendar every year, an annual tradition to go to the ceremony and show my respects for all those blokes who did a lot more than what I could.”
A number of Yeppoon residents, business owners, ex-servicemen and family members of former soldiers stood in front of the cenotaph in James St yesterday to pay their respects.
Joe Daly, president of the Yeppoon RSL sub branch, said he was really happy with the Remembrance Day turnout.
"Yeppoon is a very patriotic town and you can see by the amount of names on the cenotaph, the connection of the fallen has with the community,” he said.
"We respect all our fallen right from WWI all the way through to the most recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There is no difference to a solider fallen in WWI and a solider fallen in Afghanistan, they are all Australian soldiers who should be remembered.
"We don't have any more WWI soldiers, we do have WWII soldiers who are mainly looked after in the local nursing homes so our focus now is on our contemporary soldiers and helping them and their families.
"Remembrance Day for me, like I'm sure it is for a lot of Australians, is a mixture of emotions.
"My father was a WWII veteran, my uncle was lost in action during WWII and I'm an ex-serviceman.
"So Remembrance Day is a very special day for me and for Australians.”