Older News  » We will remember them

Last updated 12:52 PM on 15 August 2014

Our respect for the Anzacs does not fade. Every Anzac march we remember them. My generation. We know not of what war of this scale is like. We know not of the pain that our young nation and its people endured.

My generation has experienced the Afghanistan campaign and the tragedies it has brought. In the past 7 years we have had 41 Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Each soldier's death is a significant event. As we commemorate 100 years since the beginning of World War 1 we recognise that 60,000 soldiers were killed in 4 years. Every one of those Anzacs had a family, every one of them was an individual. Therefore we show our Anzacs the utmost respect. We acknowledge their service and sacrifice.

 At school, in our Anzac day assemblies, the school is silent. Every single student is silent. We all hear the bugle sounding. We all hear the poems being read. We are silent and respectful. My generation knows what the Anzacs did; we know what they had to do. But we don't know the horrors of war. We don't really understand what it was like for them.

We commemorate them. We respect them and we remember them. Two of my great great grandfathers fought in World War One. Both came home. My great grandparents have both said that their fathers never spoke of the war. We learn about World War One in year 9 History, but we still don't really know what the war was like for the diggers.

In Christmas 1914 there was an unofficial ceasefire, the Christmas Truce. On the 25th of December guns stopped for the whole day. The soldiers sang Christmas carols and in some case ventured into No Man's Land and gave food, gifts and souvenirs to the opposing trench. Even when we are at war we also find a way to express some sign that we are human. I remember this act for its humanity. I don't think that my generation understands the significance of this event. For all that the soldiers had been through, they still managed to see eye to eye with the enemy, and celebrate Christmas together.

We have Anzac day to recognise the personal sacrifice of our service men and women, not only in World War One, but in all areas of conflict and military service since. Australian soldiers have lost their lives during peacekeeping missions and during training operations.

I believe that in 100 years we will still commemorate Anzac day just as we do now. They are not forgotten nor will they be.

‘Lest we forget' is such a simple statement. Yet it says so much. Rudyard Kipling lost his son in World War One. He was responsible for finding the right words to put on the Stone of Remembrance in Commonwealth War Graves. He proposed, "Their Name Liveth For Evermore", from Ecclesiasticus 44:14. Another simple statement that says so much.

We will never forget. The world will never forget World War One. Their names will live for evermore. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten. We will remember them.