I participate in a few activities each year which resonate deeply with me – one of these activities is attending the ANZAC Day Parade and Service. This seems to surprise people, as I have been considered too “left wing” to support ANZAC Day. It is true however, I enjoy the day.
ANZAC Day calls for the same level of reverence as a funeral and a baptism might.
I do not go to honor Australia’s army, or to celebrate our victory, or to “celebrate our freedom.”
I attend ANZAC Day and I watch the Australians and the Poles, the civilians and armed service men and women, and more recently the Turks March together.
ANZAC Day is solidarity – a reminder of shared suffering, shared pain and tears, of shared uncertainty, of bravery and of loss.
There are few days on our calendar when the country stops, and remembers the pains of the past.
There are few days that we stand together as Australians regardless of backgrounds – few days that we share our experiences.
There are few days where we are encouraged to think back over our history, remember our mistakes and look forward as a collective to a brighter warmer future in which an ANZAC parade may have more musicians and fewer soldiers, as the world will have learned – we need not fight any more.
A few words I wrote yesterday:
Lest we forget the wise man who advised against hatred,
Lest we forget the man lost, fighting for this country
Lest we forget the wife and son he left behind
Lest we forget their tears
Lest we forget those who profited from the conflict
May we protect those who survived
Lest we forget the 300,00 child soldiers,
Fighting in adult wars
Lest we forget the spirit of he ANZACs
Lest we forget the wisdom of the old,
Lest we forget to leave war in the past
Lest we forget:
“I am, You are, We are Australian.”