Monday, April 28, 2014

ANZAC Day 2014

Over the weekend, I went to our Council's ANZAC Day Ceremony. I think the biggest surprise for me was the number of people who turned out. It wasn't the best morning, but the local plaza was full. Full of people coming from a broad range of ages and it was great to see families with young kids there. One of the highlights for me was the 13 year old Girl Guide member, who talked about how her understanding of Gallipoli had changed, how she had learned more about her family preparing for the speech. It was great to see the Scouts & Guides involved in the ceremony, along with the political representatives (one of the local members, the Mayor) and the local RSL.

I was impressed with the local Anglican minister who conducted the ceremony - his faithful words and prayers. Corp Ben Roberts-Smith, reminded us of the
"profoundly sad reality that our wounded tend to be forgotten, though they have always vastly outnumbered our dead. There were over 155,000 wounded in the First World War alone. 
The war in Afghanistan may be coming to an end, but for those who were wounded there, it will never end. The physical scars inflicted will remain their curse and inspiration for life; the other, deeper, more complex, more insidious scars to hearts and minds will wreak havoc and pain over lifetimes." 
 ANZAC Day, is not a day that glorifies war, but reminds us of its' cost.

The lasting memory I have from ANZAC Day this year, was the silence I experienced during the service I attended, and the communal silence I witnessed from the MCG - over 90,000 people standing silently remembering the cost of war (and the price of peace).

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