OPINION: Even in isolation, lest we forget
MY EARLIEST memory of Anzac Day is sitting on a footpath on a Brisbane CBD street, waving a cheap Australian flag as I watched hundreds of veterans and soldiers walk past.
I couldn’t have been more than five. It’s a tradition we repeated for a few years until wrangling three kids to the city got too much for poor mum and dad.
We swapped it out for our newer tradition, one that we have stuck to for well over a decade – packing out a cenotaph in a quiet Brisbane suburb with schoolchildren, locals and veterans alike.
Two years ago, I shivered through a cold French night in Villers-Bretonneux for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme – one of the darkest military moments in Australian history. It was without a doubt one of the most moving experiences of my life.
I am lucky to have never known the reality of war. I am blessed, because there are millions of people my age the world over who face war on the daily.
While this Saturday we will not be able to mark our respects for our Anzacs in the way we usually do, this year it’s perhaps more important than ever that we still do.
If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that it doesn’t matter where you are on April 25, all it takes is a few moments to bow your head, to remember those brave men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country in the past 106 years.
But also, take those moments to reflect on how lucky we as Australians are. We are currently facing a war of a different kind – humanity vs coronavirus. We are privileged to live in a country where our leaders are stopping at nothing to keep us safe, no matter how much we might dislike it.
This Saturday, I hope you will join me on your driveway, in your living room, or wherever you might be, to bow your head to say thank you to our Anzacs.
Lest we forget.