Anzac Day and its commemoration is as important this year as it has ever been.
While we can’t gather together as one at our local Shrines and RSL’s to pay our respects, we can still take the time to pause and reflect on the sacrifices that were made some 105 years ago.
Like many people across our communities, I will rise before the sun this Anzac Day and at 6am will stand at the end of my driveway for a moment’s silence to remember and honour those who fought for us.
Many Australian families have direct family members who proudly served Australia during war time; great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, siblings.
While for others, they have a loved one who is following in the footsteps of past Anzac’s and dedicating their career to serving our country to protect our freedoms, uphold democracy and provide humanitarian efforts both in Australia and throughout the world.
This year has been like no other. Our armed forces have touched us deeply in Gippsland, actively assisting the response and recovery efforts during summer’s devastating bushfires.
It also won’t be first time that Australians have been unable to gather for Anzac Day ceremonies. In 1919 some towns cancelled Anzac Day ceremonies due to the risks posed by the Spanish flu. This only tells us that the ceremonies and commemorative events will return next year with strength and unity, as they did in 1920 and as they have continued to do for over a century.
On Saturday, we remember those who served, those who lost their lives, those who serve today and the families who support them in the line of duty.
The freedoms we enjoy today as a nation are due to the extraordinary sacrifice of our past generations.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.
Melina Bath MP
The Nationals, Member for Eastern Victoria Region