World War II veteran Sam Krycer still has the samurai sword he picked up in Indonesia when the Japanese surrendered.
The 100-year-old former leading aircraftman led Melbourne’s Anzac Day march to the Shrine of Remembrance on Thursday, alongside other surviving Second World War veterans.
“It gets a bit emotional for me today. I didn’t expect all of that,” Mr Krycer told AAP of the scale of Thursday’s proceedings.
The centenarian was on the Indonesian island of Morotai with the air force for the formal surrender of the Japanese 2nd Army in September 1945, and brought home the samurai sword.
“It’s just amazing what can happen to just an ordinary Australian,” he said.
Despite the years, Thursday’s Anzac march in Melbourne was only Mr Krycer’s second.
“I still feel humbled, really, (to) see these young boys,” he said afterwards.
“I also remember all the thousands of those who didn’t make it back home. So it’s not all smiles.”
The veteran was one of about 65,000 people estimated to have participated in the city’s Anzac commemorations.
Another of those was Carl Chung, who became emotional as he spoke about his son, who is with the army in Queensland.
“I just pray to God to protect all those who are serving,” Mr Chung said through tears.
“I keep reminding my son I’m so proud of him.”