Anzac Day is a newspaper article, written and published in 2001.
| ANZAC DAY
April 25 is a very important day to me and to many other Australians and New -Zealanders.
It is a day to honour my Grandfather, to remember my father and pay my respects to my Fathers - in – law. It is also a day to show heart felt thanks the Vietnam War ended before my current partner (who was in the army then) was shipped out. In addition it is the birth date of my beloved Grand daughter.
So early on Wednesday 25 April 2001 we were up and dressed for the Dawn Service, at Deception Bay. Our son was in his scout uniform proudly displaying his paternal Grandfather’s medals and a commemorative medal for his maternal Grandfather. In the true Anzac mateship tradition he lent his friend the dress medals of his paternal Great Grandfather.
As the sun rose on a clear and warm Brisbane day we watched the veterans march up from the beach. Some of the Scouts were carrying the Banner for the Wireless Squadron and Zane was proudly carrying the Australian flag. The flag is bigger than he is but with shoulders back he takes the weight and keeps the flag aloft for the entire march. Similar young children and youth are doing the same with their banners and flags.
The laying of the wreaths is, for me, most poignant as we realise the large number of conflicts the Anzacs have been involved in. Without warning Graeme and I hear our son's name over the speakers as he moves forward to lay the wreath, along with a representative from each Scout Section. We are so proud of his smart salute and although he walks a little lopsidedly, from the weight of all those medals, he carries out his responsibility with dignity and respect – as do all the other young people involved in the ceremony on this day.
A young man from our local college gives a wonderful speech and we listen intently to the extract from the journal of the light horse brigade.
The soldiers, medics and other personnel from both Australia and New Zealand are remembered.
The Last Post, as always, send shivers down my spine and the young woman from our local college plays it with skill and solemnity.
The voices of our young people soar as the National Anthem is sung. As I stand there looking at children, some as young as three, participating in an uplifting celebration of the wonderful spirit and generosity of all those who have participated in conflicts throughout the world I dare to hope.
I am an optimist and have great faith in our young people. This day, as it does every year, reinforces my trust in the security of our future.
As we walked away the old Diggers headed off to the RSL’s, RSA’s, Bowls clubs and community centres, throughout Australia and New Zealand, to reminisce, catch up with old mates and enjoy the rest of their special day. We returned home to watch it all over again on TV!
I am privileged to have attended Anzac ceremonies in Australia and in New Zealand. My elder son marched, as a Scout, in many an Anzac parade and he still views Anzac day as a day of remembrance and respect.
On the 25th of April I am proud to be a ‘New Australian’ and New Zealand born. Two nations honouring the sacrifices made, in the past and in the present, one large and one small but with huge hearts, one and all.
Australia Day (& Waitangi Day in New Zealand) celebrates the official birth of a Nation. Anzac Day celebrates the tenacity, the heroism, the mateship of amazing people who found humour and friendships in the face of appalling adversity. It should stay this way.