Anzac Day as important as ever

Today, our nation comes together to commemorate Anzac Day, and wherever you are around the district, I hope you’ll be joining me in attending an Anzac service.

This year has a particularly special meaning for Anzac as it marks 100 years since we celebrated the first year of peace after World War One ended in 1918.

A century after those first commemorations of peace, Anzac Day remains a powerful and revered day of mourning, contemplation and respect for those who have served, fallen and returned from various wars and conflicts that our country has been involved in.

Even though there may not be anyone left in our community who lived through the horrors of the Great War, it is vital that we continue to remember what it cost our country; the lives that it took and the devastation it unleashed.

The ‘war to end all wars’ was of course not the last to break out across the globe: Thousands of lives have been touched by conflicts such as World War Two, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Young men and women have given their lives for our freedom, a virtue that we continue to benefit from. Whether they served on the front line, saved lives in army hospitals or assisted in intelligence and resistance efforts to undermine their foes, these brave people made the ultimate sacrifice for us. It is therefore fitting that we honour their memories and keep the spirit of Anzac alive.

Each year, I stand among hundreds at various Anzac Day ceremonies. We stand in silence as ‘The Last Post’ sounds and wreaths are laid.

Compared with what was given during those wars, attending an Anzac service is the least we can do to show our gratitude, and it’s pleasing to see those attendance numbers grow year on year around the district.

It reaffirms that Anzac Day remains as relevant and important as it ever has been, and shows that our community continues to value the sacrifices that were made for our way of life.

If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to please come and pay your respects this Anzac Day.

Let’s not allow the passing of time to erode our sense of loss and gratitude, but use it to reaffirm our belief in peace and unity.

You’ll find the details of Anzac services in our district on the Council website ashburtondc.govt.nz. I hope to see you there.​​​

Page reviewed: 30 Apr 2019 11:58am