Twelve years ago I found myself in a sunny Brisbane on ANZAC day.
Until that point my only real connection with the day and what it meant to Australians and New Zealanders was via the Pogues cover of Eric Bogle's song The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, in which a crippled veteran looks back on the war and bemoans the fading of the parade.
I was therefore quite surprised by the turnout to watch the parade. There were even a couple of original Diggers driven by in jeeps.
I was even more amazed to see young children taking part in the parade, marching alongside veterans of the Second World War and more recent conflicts.
Someone explained that they were the children or grandchildren of veterans either marching with, or in place of, their family members.
I think I got something in my eye at this point.
Apparently it was a decision taken when the collective memory seemed to be dying out and the parades were seen as outdated, and had been very successful in connecting younger people with the sacrifices made by their countrymen and reconnecting a proud nation with one of it's formative events.
I was reminded of all this when my ipod threw up the Eric Bogle original today while I was trying to work. A song I used to view purely as an attack on the futility and wastefulness of war has a much more poignant meaning for me now that the foresight of Australians means that young people are unlikely to ask "what are they marching for" and the song's gloomy conclusion that "someday no-one will march there at all" is unlikely to come to pass.