Jack Ryan, 12, and Caitlin Goggi, 11, were proud to represent the Yarwun school community at Calliope Remembrance Day.
Jack Ryan, 12, and Caitlin Goggi, 11, were proud to represent the Yarwun school community at Calliope Remembrance Day. Andrew Morgan GLA111114REME

Remembrance Day message still relevant today

STANDING behind the lectern at the Calliope Remembrance Day service, 11-year-old Sarah Windsor paid a powerful tribute to our country's soldiers of past and present.

The school captain of Yarwun State School is adamant the message remains relevant to the younger generations.

"We understand," she said. "Some of us even have family who are at war.

"It's a day to think of all the men from Gallipoli up until now who have fought and died for our country."

Fifty community members from all walks of life gathered to mark their respects to Australian soldiers of all conflicts.

Vietnam Veteran Neale Marxsen said he was able to visualise the faces of his mates who died military heroes.

He would not wish the toils of war on anyone.

"We fought at war, we fought to get recognition and we fought post traumatic stress disorder," he said.

"And then our families were fighting our battles too."

No other event has marked his past, present and future in the same way.

"Remembrance Day brings back a lot of memories. Too many sometimes," he said.

"Mostly of the mates who didn't come home."

Sadness is clear in Mr Marxsen's eyes as he reflects upon the pains of war.

"I thought I was alright when I got home from Vietnam," he said.

"As I got older, all of the little things began to bite at me. PTSD began to set in. It's hard for the families.

"I know my wife really struggled."

The Gladstone-born veteran echoes a story embedded in the military history of Australia.

"We didn't get the recognition we deserved when we came home," he said.

"Unfortunately, I think it's still the same story for many of the young ones fighting today."



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