Dave Lassam - The importance of Anzac Day
Once you've been and been part of it, as a member of defence, you just, the history of that first stuff comes into it and you just feel that it is your responsibility to maintain, so that we don't forget. There's a thing that says lest we forget, we do not want to forget it, and people say, "Oh, you are glorifying war." Well, no, actually, we're not.
We're commemorating those who died, paid the ultimate price for all of us to be here where we are today. Now. I just have this, I don't know whether it's innate or whatever. I just have this thing that I have to do my bit. And over the years, I've done many different roles in Anzac Day.
When I was on the Melbourne, when I was on the Melbourne in Sydney, we were up for the Sydney march past and lo and behold, I was carrying, they wanted four Melbourne sailors with their cap tallies to carry the flag for HMAS Australia. And we did, just amazing, through the streets of Sydney, the crowd was going wild.
Back in those days it was, they'd started to build up after Vietnam finished. Vietnam finished five or six years, they'd started to build back up, so we were getting a good thing. The Vietnam vets weren't, but we were as young sailors at that time. And again since then, I spent, I did spend a long time, about half my career at Cerberus which is a training establishment where we try to inculcate what we do, where we inculcate the service and so forth into the young people and get them out there.
Yes, they're told they have to go to these things but once you've been part of it, once you've been a part of that sort of thing it becomes ingrained and did in me, so that over the years, and later on when I was promoted to officer, I'd volunteer automatically go to go to these things and I would go all over Victoria, or wherever I was, in Tassie, as well, to lead parades, to do the speech, to be the Invitee and I write something different every year.
I have spent the last, I think, 11 years at Foster down in Gippsland as their guy, they want me all the time now. There was no "Yeah, no, you coming back?" "No, I'll be here". And I'm allowed to do that even though I'm retired, I get to still do that.