26 April, 2012
This post was actually intended for yesterday but thanks to some technical problems it didn't go up. It's too important not to be shared though, so I hope you don't mind it a little late today.
Anzac Day has always been an important day to me and my family. We haven't always 'celebrated' it with all the fanfare that it attracts, but I know that not a year goes by that I'm not moved to tears on this day. I can't even watch war movies, they simply make me too sad.
For all my pacificst ways, wishing that there never were or had to be any wars, I know that is sadly not the case and the enormity of what these young men endured and sacrificed for their country, so that we may enjoy the freedom that we do today, presses upon me especially on this day.
My grandfather served in WWII and while we were very lucky to have him returned home in one piece, the mental scars were always there. My uncle served in the Vietnam War and while he too came home unharmed, he refuses to even speak about that time to this day. My brother in law has recently joined the army reserves, part of the Charlie Company he's training to become a rifleman. I'm so proud of him but I hope he never has to put his training into serious action.
The things past and present service men and women have seen and experienced is unimaginable. I literally cannot wrap my head around it. The depth of gratitude I feel towards these people that I have never met is almost tangible. I see young fresh faced cadets marching beside the weathered faces of men who despite their somewhat fragile gait stand tall with a pride that puffs out their chests laden with medals for this one day. Their day.
I don't believe you need to attend a dawn service to pay your respects and acknowledge your gratitude. Sometimes quiet reflection is far more powerful. So whether you went to a service, baked the biscuits, clinked a couple of cold ones, shared a snag, played the games or watched the parade pass by, I hope you took a moment out of your day yesterday to remember those who gave so much for us.