Tears flow as Rhonda remembers

ANZAC Day took on a particular poignancy for proud mum Rhonda Smith.

She and her large family were out in force at yesterday’s main Coffs Harbour service to remember their fallen son, Private David Smith, who died in a training accident in Victoria in June last year.

David, who grew up on the Coffs Coast, had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It was their first Anzac Day since his untimely death at the age of 25 and the tears flowed.

“Today is very special. We remember a young man who gave his life for his country,” Rhonda said.

“We’re proud of him and proud of all the Anzacs.”

Coffs Harbour 87-year-old Arthur Martin was another who paused to remember yesterday.

During World War 11, he was based in Western Australia with the Anti Aircraft 109 to defend the nation from Japanese invasion. He drove the trucks which lumbered around the big Bofor guns.

“On Anzac Day you remember the good times you had,” Arthur said.

Coffs Harbour’s Michael Crossland said it was important for him to be at yesterday’s main service in Coffs Harbour.

“It’s about being able to pay your respects to those who have gone above and beyond their duty to fight for our freedom,” Michael said. “It’s only once a year but every day they are in our hearts.”

Cecily Payne, whose husband Bob is the local sub-branch president, was one of the smiling faces manning the stalls selling Anzac Day badges.

“On this day we remember the people who fought for the world to give our children and grandchildren a better life,” she said.

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