Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Pause, Reflect and Remember; Anzac Day Allows Us to Mourn, and Reflect on the Contribution Made by All Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen and Women Who Have Served Our Country, Says Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Pause, Reflect and Remember; Anzac Day Allows Us to Mourn, and Reflect on the Contribution Made by All Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen and Women Who Have Served Our Country, Says Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien

Article excerpt

AS WE pause today to remember the fallen, I have been reflecting on why Anzac Day is so important to our nation.

In the early hours of 25th of April 1915, troops from Australia and our cousins from New Zealand assaulted a beach in Turkey that we now call Anzac Cove.

Major Duncan Chapman, from Maryborough, was the first ashore and was joined by many men from towns and farming communities in Wide Bay.

It was a proud moment for these men, but a momentous undertaking for our country.

It was the first time soldiers from the independent Commonwealth of Australia, barely a decade old, had come to fight for our sovereign King, assisting our former mother-country, Great Britain.

The Gallipoli battle proved to be poorly planned and executed. Many lives were needlessly wasted, but the Anzac troops clung to their small beachhead valiantly for seven arduous months; suffering enormously through battle casualties, disease and severely lacking in supplies to sustain their effort.

But they endured.

And when the time came to withdraw back to the ships and sail away, it was successfully conducted through detailed planning, good communication and disciplined military skills.

That last walk from the trenches to the boats, past the graves of their fallen mates, must have been distressing for these men.

As they moved to the beach, they knew it represented the defeat of the mission.

These Anzac soldiers truly believed that they had not failed as individuals or as mates. As they silently walked to the boats, each man vowed that the many feats of valour witnessed and the sacrifice of the fallen - the 8709 Diggers and 2701 Kiwis that remained behind, buried in the hills - would be forever remembered.

The first Anzac Day service occurred 12 months later in 1916, with marches and gatherings in London, Australia and New Zealand. …

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