NOVEMBER 11 is always a day to reflect and remember those who were taken from life too soon.
That is because Remembrance Day services cause us all to remember those who have lost their lives serving their country in wars.
Vic Smith served with the air force in East Timor in 2000 as part of the air load team for the 383 Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron, and in Vietnam before that.
For him, reflection comes with the territory.
That is what he did yesterday at the Ipswich Railway Sub Branch RSL Remembrance Day service at the Ipswich Workshops Rail Museum.
"I've had a long time in the air force and I was an airfield defence guard in my first go around… and I had mates killed in Vietnam where I served," he said.
"I just remember…and take time to pause and wonder why humankind is so bloody silly.
"War is stupid when you think about it.
"I've lost mates.
"I spent six months as a helicopter door gunner in Vietnam and we had helicopters shot down while I was serving with them.
"It sets you wondering why we are doing it."
Mr Smith, who did his training as an airfield defence guard at Amberley, said survivors of war service grappled with the aftermath.
He mentioned a mate named Bill who survived war but took his own life afterwards.
"That is one of the problems with defence service, that quite a lot of people these days are taking their lives as a direct result of their service," he said.
"I don't know what we do about it, but we have to take time out to think about them."
The Remembrance Day program was chaired by Ipswich Railway Sub Branch RSL president Ray Watherston and began with a stirring rendition of the national anthem.
Reverend Donald Stewart addressed the crowd, read Psalm 23 and the moving poem 'In Flanders Fields' before saying a prayer.
Wreaths were laid and the last post sounded before one minute's silence was observed at 11am, 97 years after the armistice was declared to end the First World War.
Mr Watherston recited The Ode and all in attendance reflected and remembered the sacrifices of those who have given so much for their country in wars.
Mr Smith reflected on the possibility of a world without war, but admitted it would likely continue to be out of reach for humans.
"I can't say I am a peace loving hippie who throws flowers down rifle barrels but there has got to be a better way for the world's people to exist," he said.
"It takes everybody to work towards it, but sadly I don't think that we ever will."
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