Resident Fred Hyland, reading the poem A Soldier Died Today at a pre-Anzac Day service at Ballina Ex-Services Home.
Resident Fred Hyland, reading the poem A Soldier Died Today at a pre-Anzac Day service at Ballina Ex-Services Home. DOUG EATON

Emotional poem remembers them

AS Fred Hyland read the last few lines of the poem, A Soldier Died Today, at a pre-Anzac Day service hosted by the Ballina Ex-Services Home yesterday, the crowd of about 200 people was completely silent.

Mr Hyland, a resident of the home, was also emotional as he recited The Ode.

“We will remember them,” he said.

“Lest we forget.”

Ex-Services Home general manager northern, Matthew Ashby, said the service was very important for residents who would not be able to attend an Anzac Day service on Sunday.

“It’s extremely important that we maintain this tradition,” he said.

President of the Ballina RSL Sub Branch, Max Lewis, agreed.

“On this day we remember the sacrifice of such men for an ideal; for a way of life,” he said.

“Let us take strength in the knowledge and hope that our sons and daughters will never forget the example set by their forefathers.

“In our everyday life let us endeavour to carry on those traditions established in past wars and conflicts at such tragic cost.

“So let us mourn with pride, but let us also remember with equal pride those who served and still live.”

Staff of the Ex-Services Home joined veterans’ family and friends at the service, along with students from Ballina High School, who helped veterans participate in the march.

Prayers were said before the laying of the wreaths, and the crowd sang two hymns and Advance Australia Fair.



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