Today is Anzac Day.
A day where we remember the sacrifice made for us by soldiers in WWI. I become overwhelmed with emotion on this day. I can’t think of those young men without tears welling in my eyes, my heart filling with pride, grief and gratitude.
I imagine the men, clambering off the boats in the cove, none of them aware they were sitting ducks. The Turks, literally lying in wait, hidden in the dunes and hills rained gunfire down as our men attempted their strategic move to claim the peninsula for Allied forces. The fear and horror the soldiers must have felt only spurred them on. I wouldn’t have blamed any of them if they’d attempted to turn back.
Yet, they continued on in battle as their mates and fighting companions fell beside them. Some, astonishingly, made it onto shore, even up the hill to shoot the enemy. Even more amazing was that some survived. It was a disaster. Over 10,000 men from Australia and New Zealand died in unthinkable circumstances. And there the Anzac legend was born.
My mind cannot comprehend the horrors they faced that day. And that’s the point of the day, isn’t it? They did that so that we needn’t ever see something so terrifying. Thank you for enduring the panic, thank you for being brave, thank you for dying for the safety of your country.
This day of observance has broadened over the years to include all those who served in all our wars, not just the disaster of Gallipoli. As it should. Any person who serves our country to keep us safe has my respect and my thanks.
But in recent years, there is an ever-growing level of contempt for soldiers, past and present. There is a thrum of negativity about this day, that by its observation society in general is glorifying war. I think this is utter rubbish. It’s disrespectful and rude, and only shows the spineless and thankless attitude of those who profess such a view.
Our soldiers are heroes. I am grateful and proud.
Lest we forget.