As a former member of the Defence Force (Army), I proudly help and am a member of an RSL (Returned & Services League) Sub Branch. I proudly attend and help out at the Dawn Service and proudly march wearing my medals and the medals of both my Grandfathers and Uncle as well as march in the memory of my late Father who also served in the Military when he was younger – Our family has a history of serving in the Military over many generations, signing up in several countries: England, Canada and Australia (me).
How Disrespectful: Whilst trying to help organise ANZAC Day we were required to acquire barriers for the road. Now normally the local Government Council assist however this year when we inquired we were told by them and I quote: “ANZAC Day is not a Community Event – sorry”. Wait a minute isn’t ANZAC Day a Public Holiday Australia wide??
To top it off, they said they cannot help with the barriers, hang on a sec… the barriers are to protect those marching including Veterans from WWII onwards and the military vehicles that carry many of them. It also allows spectators to line up to show there appreciation of those that served in various conflicts and those that continue to do so for this countries freedom.
The Government has made cut backs so guess what – No flyover by the RAAF or involvement in the march and Catafalque Party to mount the Catafalque, as there was nothing in the budget for this – at least we had a months notice (big deal) oh and no band except a lone piper (thanks). As you can see by the 2012 march we had a pipe band and RAAF!
A Brief History: ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day is the anniversary of the landing of troops from Australia and New Zealand on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, in World War I on April 25, 1915. The bravery of all military personnel who participated in this campaign and the lives of those who died in all military actions are remembered.
Many ceremonies, parades and other activities are held on ANZAC Day to remember the lives of those who participated or died in military action. Dawn prayer or church services are a particularly important aspect of ANZAC Day.
These represent the comradeship that the soldiers experienced as they rose each morning to prepare for another day of military action. After the services, gunfire breakfast (coffee with rum in it) is often served.
In major cities and many smaller towns, parades, marches and reunions of current and past military personnel and memorial services are held. The fourth stanza or verse of a well known poem, known as The Ode, is read aloud at many ceremonies. The poem is called “For The Fallen” and was written by Laurence Binyon in 1914. It commemorates those who died and can never grow old.
I guess I have rambled, raved on long enough cept to say that I am disgusted by some peoples attitudes especially when they are supposed to represent the Government of a country be it state or federal which ultimately is supposed to represent the people. Real heroes don’t wear capes they wear dog tags. We might retire or leave the Military but “Once a soldier always a soldier” and ask anyone - if we were asked to serve our country again we would!
Before I finish, I would like to quote a Soldiers Creed which has been used by several nations/countries as it rings true:
Till next time – Leigh