Saturday we remembered in celebration the 100th year of the Gallipoli Landing. As the flags were lowered to half mast, we stood beneath them, heads bowed, reflecting on those that fought beneath that very same Australian Flag. Our war veterans.
I am proud of my Dad, so very proud, as he was one of those veterans, fighting for rights, justice and peace. It seems nowadays that we all know or are connected in some way with someone who has been a member of the armed forces, fighting for the same things that were fought for 100 years ago. Sacrifice, bravery, commitment, mateship, honour – all words we associate with our ANZAC’s, but things we can not truly comprehend in our lives of comfort, convenience and safety. Whether it was a war a century ago, or a battle for peace that continues in this millennium, I don’t think we will ever grasp what people have gone through, their experiences, their emotions, their continued battles. But we can thank them, and on ANZAC day, that is what we do.
Our gratitude and remembrance shouldn’t only live on this date, April the 25th, but it should continue in our daily lives. Appreciating our freedoms, being thankful that we will never have to know the gut wrenching moment when a son, brother or husband is called for duty, or the call that they’re not coming home. Understanding that is our responsibility to remember, to learn and to live this gratitude through our actions, not just our words.
I was so pleased to see a great turn out at our local ANZAC Day Dawn Service. While I know that the milestone of 100 years since the Gallipoli landing was a big reason for the increase in attendance numbers around Australia, I hope the experience of remembrance and gratitude sticks with us all, and brings us back year after year, to honour those who gave their all for us. I don’t think any of us can accurately describe what they went through, why and how we feel grateful, and what life would have been like then, and now, but I hope that at our core we will always remember and be thankful for the men, the women and animals at war, those who waited for them back home, and those that continue to go into battle for us today.
Below are some photos of my Dad when he was at Vietnam. I loved looking back at the photos he has from that time, thankfully they are printed and not on a floppy disk somewhere!! I am so glad that we have photos like these to build us a greater picture of their stories. Thanks Dad, Im so proud to call you my Dad, love you.