An Australian soldier who served two tours of Afghanistan has issued a plea to parents concerned about “noisy children” at Anzac Day dawn services.
David Wilson wrote on Facebook on Easter Sunday, “it recently” came to his attention some parents won’t be bringing children on Thursday morning.
It’s because they “may make noise or fidget during the minutes silence and cause embarrassment or offend someone”, he wrote.
“Let me tell you as a returned service veteran of two tours of Afghanistan, that when I close my eyes during that minute’s silence it's the cries of the little ones in the crowd that make it so special to me,” he wrote.
“It's the reason why myself and so many of my fellow veterans and ultimately our fallen heroes gave their time, service & lives for. Their families. Their countrymen.”
Mr Wilson added he’s never been offended by the cries of children during the service or the “tutts” from their parents.
‘Please bring your little ones’
“How will we remember them if the little ones aren't there to carry the memory?” he wrote.
“So, this Anzac Day please bring your little ones. Bring them that they may see the men and women with their fathers, mothers, uncles, aunties, brothers, sisters and even their own medals worn proudly on their chests.
“So that they hear the stories told of long ago battles and heroic deeds. So that they will remember and carry on their stories to their own children's children.”
‘Gave me goosebumps’
Mr Wilson has been praised for his post, with it shared more than 6800 times.
One woman wrote the war veteran’s post was “beautiful and well said”.
“Gave me goosebumps,” one woman wrote.
“Can't thank the veterans, who fought and gave their limbs, lives and minds for this country, enough for all that they've done for us and everything that they've provided for us today.
“Lest we forget.”
Another woman added it gave her perspective and she’s now going to take her son to Thursday’s service.
“Thanks David,” she wrote.
“Was considering taking my little guy to start educating him but doubted taking him because I didn't want to be seen as disrespectful if we can't keep him quiet.”
Another woman wrote the soldier is “an amazing person” but has also “put perspective on the reality of children”.
Mr Wilson told Yahoo News Australia “completely overwhelmed by the response” his post has received.
“I am humbled by the whole thing,” he said.
“I never knew so many parents felt this way and to give them reassurance that their little ones are welcome and from myself being a veteran to put their minds at ease was a very powerful message.”
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