It was great for Mount Isa to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VP Day and Vietnam Veterans Day on Saturday.
It was a sad occasion back in April when Mount Isa like everywhere else in Australia was unable to properly commemorate the 105th Anzac Day with the country in the middle of the first wave of the pandemic.
Many people marked that occasion outside their homes and some ignored official advice to attend the cenotaph.
It was better than nothing but nowhere near as good as the real thing so it was an important symbolic step to be able to attend the cenotaph in person this Saturday.
Of course things have changed. Queensland may be safe for now but COVID-19 is still with us and Council staff were on hand to sign everyone in to the event to allow for proper contact tracing.
Seating was spread out to allow for one and a half metre rule social distancing though it was understandable that the old veterans wanted to line as they usually would for photos after the event.
It is not recommended but not illegal either and with the current numbers in Queensland and the contact tracing, probably low risk.
Yet it is a reminder that our world has changed utterly as a result of the pandemic.
Just as our world changed utterly as a result of the war that ended 75 years ago.
Recently I met with local resident Rod Lovelock who told me about his father-in-law Ben Skeates who served in that war as a submariner. Ben died in 2010 so I never had the opportunity to meet him.
But Mr Lovelock loaned me a book in which his father-in-law featured "Sea Wolves: The Extraordinary Story of Britain's WW2 Submarines" and I feel as if I have some measure of the man.
Extraordinary was the right word to describe the service of those in the most dangerous part of the Armed Forces.
Your chances of surviving the war were less than one in two but Ben Skeates did make it to the other side.
He lived out his years in Mount Isa and loved to be a part of each Anzac Day.
We are thankful for the service of him and hundreds of thousands like him who defeated fascism in the 1940s.