War has played an undeniable role in shaping Australia. That today we live in a peaceful society is due in no small part to our experience and understanding both of war and of its consequences. Our military history provides us a valuable insight as to how we have developed as a nation into the 21st century.
The term ‘ANZAC’ is instantly recognisable in Australia and has come to stand for far more than just a military acronym. The ‘ANZAC spirit’ encompasses values that Australians hold dear and in many, the values that they aspire to emulate in their own lives; authentic leadership, courage, bravery, sacrifice, mateship, loyalty, team work, selflessness and the resilience to push on in the face of adversity.
The ANZAC spirit has given Australians an ideal to strive for and a history to be proud of, even though it was born of war, suffering and loss.
ANZAC Day is such a special day for me personally. It serves as a timely reminder to pause and reflect on the service and sacrifice of so many young Australians who have served our country over more than 100 years; from the Boer War and World War I, right through to current operations in Afghanistan and peacekeeping missions around the world.
This ANZAC Day I will be thinking of my team mates – my ‘brothers’ - who did not make it home from operations in the Middle East, who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of peace.
This ANZAC Day, I encourage every Australian to take a moment to reflect in their own way on those who have given up so much, so we can live the lifestyle we often take for granted in this great country.
Lest we forget.