Today, in Australia, it's ANZAC day.
Last years post says it all, and I invite all readers to revisit it.
This one though is dedicated to Lieutenant Matthew Goodall, Royal Australian Navy.
I knew him at ADFA, the Australian Defence Force Academy, merely as Midshipman Goodall, in the late 90's. In the CompSci lab (Universally pronounced Kompski by the students), as with all the officer cadets, I'd peered over his shoulder as he was working, sometimes sitting next to him and explaining a solution, sometimes getting him to write on the whiteboard as the class discussed alternate ways of tackling a problem.
"Well done that man. Next Victim!... Hmmmm.... Midshipman Goodall!"
"Yea!" "Onya Matt!" "Show us how to do it mate!" "Get stuffed the lot of ya!"
Those may not have been the exact words. From memory, he was a pretty laid-back kind of guy, coolly competent, the kind to take banter in his stride. Polite too, a good-natured grin would be more his style, as he did, indeed, show the rest how to do it.
If it was in my power, I'd grant him a Summa Cum Laude, not just for Computer Science, but for something far deeper and more important. Lieutenant Goodall died along with eight others while delivering relief supplies to earthquake victims when the Sea King helicopter they were in crashed in Indonesia recently.
To me, he'll always be 19 years old, decked out in his dress whites and shorts, cracking the odd joke with the rest of the class, swearing at the bloody machine and tapping away at the keyboard in the lab.
as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them
nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.