With Anzac Day fast approaching in the year of 2010 I felt it appropriate to comment on this important day in the lives of Australians. I hope that any Australians reading my thoughts will become links in the chain to remind families and friends alike of why they have the freedoms they do today in our wonderful country and to remind them of the thousands who gave the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, to ensure that the rest of us would live free.
Many of us don't agree with war or with sending our loved ones to war but it's part of human life that this happens and as wars have existed since the beginning of the history of the world, it seems this will never change unless the human factor is wiped from the face of the earth.
We should respect those that have given their lives because they believed they were doing the right thing for their country, even if we may not agree. And never forget that the Second World War did impact on Australia with Darwin under attack and mini submarines in Sydney Harbour. Think about the fear of Australians here at home then with our army, navy and airforce mostly all serving overseas, far away from home. Our lives today could have been very different except for those that fought to keep the onslaught away from our shores and those who fought on our own land to repel the invaders.
Please spend some time on Anzac Day remembering all those young Australian men and women who died in World War I and World War II especially, because they are the ones who paid a huge price for us in wars of such magnitude that the world had never seen before or since. They didn't have the technology that is there today and yet they bravely answered the call in their thousands, travelling by foot or horse to sign up, leaving their loved ones behind bewildered and mourning the loss. Many were never seen again and died in circumstances that are beyond belief in today's world. The savagery and cruelty of the human factor is a fearful thing when unleashed.
For all Australians fighting overseas now, keep them in your prayers. They too believe in what they are doing even if many of us don't. If you keep it in your mind that by containing the disturbances overseas it could prevent those disturbances from hitting our shores, then you will then be ever so grateful for the gift being given to you freely. How many of us would willingly fight in an alien country for our beliefs? Precious few. Think about your own children, grand-children. How would we feel if it happened again and we were the ones left behind in fear for the lives of those we love?
Don't just take Anzac Day as a day off work; spend part of the time in respectful thoughts of all the diggers and nurses and doctors and others that have served in wars through the years since the early 1900s and lost their precious lives. Most of the baby boomers in Australia would have lost relatives in those wars. If only humans could act humanely and stop trying to control and take over other people's lives and countries. Every person who dies in war is someone's son or daughter.
And please, when you go to an RSL Club in Australia, be respectful of the surroundings and pay heed when asked to give a few minutes of silence in memory of all those that died so we could enjoy things like RSL Clubs. I have read lately where people are just blatantly ignoring the silence of respect and that makes me extremely angry and sad. No matter which country people have emigrated from to live in our wonderful country, your respect is expected for our heritage.
It is heartening though to see so many people actually getting out there on Anzac Day to watch the marches and to attend the Dawn Services. The old diggers are just about all gone to the next world but their families and friends and mates march in their places with pride, upholding the traditions of a day that we, as Australians, must never forget.
As John Lennon says in his unforgettable song - Imagine ........ what would the world be like today if so many thousands of men and women hadn't answered the call and given their lives to save the world. If only John's words could become reality - imagine what a wonderful world it would be and only us humans can make it that way. In another lifetime perhaps.
Thank you for reading my thoughts on Anzac Day and I hope that you will carry on the tradition of the day, keeping the memories alive and never forgetting the sacrifices of the few for so many.