I love Anzac Day. I really do. The sound of kids enjoying a day off as they play in their yard, the parade, the memorial service, the bikkies…mmm… the bikes.
But more than enjoying it, I think its really important.
I get sad each year at the parade. When we first moved to Townsville more than 7 years ago, we would be busily escorting hundreds of elderly diggers out of their vintage military vehicles. It was a delight and they always thanked us for being American… after all, America played a huge part in the battle of the coral sea. Australia may have looked a lot different had we not showed up, actually.
Its been sad to see fewer and fewer diggers proudly exiting their vehicles and waving to the crowd. They’re literally dying off and this year, one of the estimates I heard was 10… 10 Townsville diggers left. How many will be there next year?
I find it so sad… and yet part of life… and the reason why I think its important we don’t forget.
We must remember the battles that have been fought before we got here… the lessons that were learned, the reasons foundations were laid, the traditions that should be upheld, the relationships that were forged…
Not just when it comes to war, but in general. Any achievement we may experience is largely due to those who have been before us either by teaching us, or preparing the way for us. Sure, it may not have been perfect, but it was a stepping stone, and we have the privilege of walking the path, extending it, building higher, carrying on the baton.
As I consider where other have been, and what steps forward I will take, I hope that I, too, can leave a legacy… another layer… something that not only my children can build on, but those I work with now and who will do what I do later… so that they can go much farther and higher than I ever well.
Lest we forget.