23 April 2023
Anzac Day, the premier day of memorial, has arrived again and those who served and the families of those who have served, the sons and daughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren and more will awake before dawn to stand in the dark. It is not look at me, it is remember them.
We all get such a sense of pride that we are at our best when we see the lights of the cars driving to the service in the dark of the early morning. They are not compelled to go, they chose to go. Families who get out of bed early and make the effort for those who offered their lives for our country. The day remembers those who served and states who we are.
In the early 1980s protesters tried to stop Anzac Day. Now they would not dare. It has grown in importance, not diminished as many thought it would. The number of servicemen and women may have diminished in number, but their descendants have increased in numbers. Their families have served our nation and the photos of their families’ servicemen and women are in pride of place in their homes. For those who can't make the dawn service there is the march later in the day.
Australia is a better country than it was in the early 1980's. We may not agree with the reasons our nation gets involved in a war, but we never denigrate those who served in one, like the disgraceful treatment of many who returned from the Vietnam War.
Australia would never remain unmolested by a foreign power if it were not protected. We would lose our nation and our children would become the footstools of others who would dominate and rule us.
Even today we see that if a dominant, aggressive power does not like a group of people they just kill them. That part of human behaviour has not changed. So Anzac Day is not only a remembrance of the past, but also a warning of the future.
At times as a nation we get so engaged in winning or losing an internal debate, we lose sight that we are always at threat to different degrees of losing our whole nation. If that was to happen, we all lose. No one cares about your internal issues when you are subjugated by an adversary. The new owner of Australia may even prefer that we were no longer here. Ethnic cleansing is still part of modern war, to replace Australians with another people because we are in their way.
So, Anzac Day is so important for so many reasons. I hope we never have another war. They are evil, disgusting things, but it is essential that there are those families who, like in the past, will come forward in the future to protect our soil. Their forebears and those who serve today we respect.