Veteran TV reporter Simon Bouda had an emotional moment on-air when describing his visit to his grandfather’s grave in in Papua New Guinea.
Bouda was at his grandfather's grave at the Bomona War Cemetery in Port Morseby for the 75th anniversary of the Kokoda Track Campaign.
His grandfather, George Heads, was a pilot in the RAAF, who crashed his plane in Milne Bay during WW II.
Bouda tearfully opened up to The Today Show’s Karl Stefanovic about what it was like being at the grave site.
‘Mate, it was heartbreaking,’ he said. ‘I'm sorry. I said I wouldn't do this. It's hard. It's hard. You just think about those guys. They gave so much.
‘I took the opportunity when assigned this particular job to go and visit his grave site. I took his medals, I took the telegram that his wife, my grandmother, received to notify her that he had died.
‘I guess I'm just - there's so many people like me on this track today, descendants in exactly the same boat, who lost loved ones along this track and the rest of Papua New Guinea. When you think about the campaign, there was about 3,700 Australian diggers, soldiers, who died during that campaign.
‘It is such a significant battle when you consider its proximity to Australia. It was all about stopping the Japanese getting to Port Morseby. If they got to Port Morseby, it was a great staging post for further attacks on Australia. That is what all the Australians here were fighting for. They managed to hold them back otherwise I think Australia today would be a very different place, Karl.’
Stefanovic thanked his colleague for sharing his experience: ‘You have given us a great tribute to your grandfather as well and you have paid tribute to him. Well done for you making the journey, my man. It's a special, special day for a lot of people, especially for you, Simon Bouda.’