The benchmark has been set higher following another wonderful Digger Day at Rugby Park, South Nowra.
It’s hard to do the event justice and talk about the special guests who attended it with mere words.
Four Victorian Cross recipients, the UK’s Johnson Beharry and Bill Speakman and Rambahadur Limbu from Nepal and New Zealand's Willie Apiata graced Rugby Park on Saturday.
With grace, humility and warmth, these great people were happy to talk and meet everybody.
Sadly, illness kept VC recipient and long-term Digger Day supporter Keith Payne away from the event.
Johnson Beharry, who on March 18 2005, was awarded the Victoria Cross, for twice saving members of his unit from ambushes at Al-Amarah Iraq, said it was an honour to attend his second Digger Day.
He said his first time at Diggers Day was a lot to take in and did not know what to expect.
His second Digger Day was a great experience.
“I now know more about Digger Day and what it represents and being back here seeing everyone was a bit emotional and I did get emotional today,” he said.
“Coming in on the helicopter, looking down, seeing this huge crowd and the welcome we got yeah I did get a bit emotional.
“I get emotional because it (Digger Day) is not about me - it's what it represents which is the celebration of our great men and women.”
He enjoys being around the veterans.
“I love meeting up with them and hearing their stories and talking to them,” he said.
The special guest also likes meeting and talking with the various military cadets.
He rates the day as special and the experience also special.
The playing of The Post, the players from the Shoalhaven and Kiama Rugby Clubs marching onto the field and seeing many members of the Shoalhaven veterans community with beaming smiles on their faces were some of the highlights.
The guests, this year, were given a traditional Māori welcoming which was wonderful to see.
Members of the Shoalhaven veterans community and other special guests were then honoured when they got a Hongi, a Māori greeting, from Willie Apiata.
The local veterans graciously appreciated the chance to be greeted in such a way.
Meanwhile, Rick Meehan, who along with his army of helpers including Freddie Campbell put the event altogether, was happy it was such a success.
“It was a fantastic day and every we put in place worked,” he said.
“All the effort and the stress was worthwhile.”
Mr Meehan, after seven years, still gets excited about seeing all the Victoria Cross winners
“Even when we were in the helicopter I had water welling up in my eyes. It’s close to my heart and brings a tear to my eyes - the emotion is still there.”
Mr Meehan and Digger Day will be back next year.