“ANZAC Day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. It is the day we remember all Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.The spirit of ANZAC, with its human qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity.” from Australian War Memorial website.
In putting this together, three words:
courage, mateship and sacrifice kept coming to the fore.
Courage – There are times in my life that I think I have been brave, but I can’t even come close to imagining the type of bravery and courage our young Soldiers were able to muster up when our country needed help. These men stepped up, left their families and country to fight a battle to protect their beloved Australia. Each of them would have only known a small patch of Australia that they called home, but never thought twice about jumping in to help.The courage to continue fighting when mates had fallen beside them;The courage and strength to be able sleep at night (not knowing what the next day would bring for them) is a courage that I will never be able to comprehend but I can certainly hold in high revere.
Mateship: a very Australian word and trait.To have a true mate is something very special in life. These men fought beside total strangers in such extreme circumstances and relied on each other, all fighting for the same one true love (Australia)
They relied upon each other in a way that formed the foundations of strong mateship ties.These bonds are stronger than any best friend they would ever have had at school, these mates will be their mates forever. For some, that forever was just around the corner. Mates carried wounded mates, mates protected mates and mates wept when they lost one of their own.
Sacrifice: There is one last Anzac Bikkie on the plate.You haven’t had one yet and can’t wait to get your teeth into it. Your granddaughter says she wants it …. really bad! What do you do? Sit back and tell her that you haven’t had one yet and you would hate to miss out? Or do you sacrifice your joy of that delicious chewy biscuit and hand it over? Hand it over.That’s a sacrifice.
Our young men went off to war. Did they make any sacrifices? Surely the love for their sweetheart, wife, mother, father, brothers, sisters, son or daughter made it hard for them to leave, but they each sacrificed their hunger for the comfort and love of their family in order to fight for the country they called home.They sacrificed time away from family in order to fight to keep our country free. Some made the ultimate sacrifice and never returned home to see their families again.
How we live today – the freedom we enjoy in this country is directly contributed to the sacrifices made by these courageous mates.
To honour and remember these brave young soldiers is what makes ANZAC Day one of Australia’s most important national commemorative occasions.
“But while there might not be personal connection with it – it is one of those few days in our calendar that gives us ceremony, tradition and time for reflection. (Quote ABC – the importance of Anzac Day in 2012)
Lest We Forget