The Wall of Remembrance at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, holds the names of over 100,000 Australian servicemen and women who lost their lives fighting in a war. Some were volunteers, some were conscripts – but all of them deserve to be remembered with honour and respect.
I won’t go into details about why we remember our fallen on 25th April, except to say that it was the day in 1915 that signified Australia’s first involvement in a war as a nation. And, of course, it would be remiss of me not to mention the soldiers from New Zealand that made up the NZ of ANZAC. The Australian War Memorial provides an excellent article on The ANZAC Day Tradition if you are interested.
I think it’s important that we put aside whatever we think about Australian involvement in foreign and world wars when it comes to remembering those who lost their lives fighting in those wars. I would also like to extend the same respect to those who had been injured and/or maimed, both physically and mentally by doing what they were asked to do by their country. There are 364 other days of the year for that.
What I think is also important is that ANZAC Day not be used for point scoring for other causes, like it was last year. Again, there is a time and a place for other causes – and ANZAC Day is neither.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.