Before the sun breaches the horizon, a lone bugle will sound ‘The Last Post’.
It’s the final farewell…a message for the fallen; your job is done, rest in peace.
And then – in the darkness – we’ll fall silent.
…… Because the words thank you will never be enough.
The ANZAC spirit and our nation’s identity were forged on the shores of Gallipoli in 1915.
Nearly a century later and ANZAC Day….well, it’s a great day off. A chance to sleep in and not think about work.
Some Aussies will flick past the parade on the TV and give a passing thought to what ANZAC Day means.
Some might even head out to a parade or a dawn service. Who doesn’t love a chance for a game of two-up and a beer at 10 in the morning?
For some, it’s a day of community and respect. A day to be proud of our history.
Can I tell you what ANZAC Day means to me?
ANZAC Day is not just for the fallen. It’s also for the battle weary; men and women who came home, and brought the war with them.
It’s for my hero – my husband. A man who has left me behind, countless times. A man who changes, just a little bit, every time he comes home. The man who still looks like the boy-band heartthrob I met at 18, but who can never tell me what he’s seen or what he’s done.
On this one day of the year, he doesn’t have enquiring faces searching his eyes for signs of damage. He’s with his mates, who never need to ask. They already know.
On ANZAC Day, I see the snowy hair and lined faces, I see the biker jackets and the tatts, I see the clean cut boys and girls who are still enlisted – all smiling on “their” day, backslapping and reminiscing – but all carrying a scar that only their mates can see…. they see the battleground in the eyes of their brothers and sisters in arms.
It makes me want to say:
“What you went through was more than we should ever ask of a fellow human being.
While I can’t fully grasp what you did or how it changed the way I live today, I want to say thank you for doing it.
Thank you for leaving your family, your friends and your home.
Thank you for travelling for months on end, to sit in a pit of horror and watch your mates die around you, while you wait for your own end to come.
Thank you for doing that, even though you might not have known what you were getting yourself in for, or maybe you had no choice.
Maybe you hated every minute and cried silently at night wishing with every cell in your body that you could go home and be safe and warm again.
Maybe you hated yourself for being weak enough to want your Mum.