Moderator's Anzac Day message

Lest we forget them

From the rising of the sun to its setting, we will not forget them.

In any language, in any context, the soldiers who lost their lives in the wars are our heroes. We are indebted to them for all time.

Their lives, brief, shortened by war, gave us the opportunity of the world we live in today. They made a huge difference. We do not know, we will never know, of the enormity of the sacrifice of the many who died and never returned home again.

I’ve read stories of many young men who enlisted and travelled overseas. There was a sense of a new experience, change of scenery. Many were just seeking something new.

It was a swirl of young men (mostly) enlisting for adventure. There were stories of some who enlisted older, just to be considered and be accepted. Most likely the thought was they would all return.

For the WWI Gallipoli campaign of 1915, Australia and New Zealand united, siding with Great Britain against Germany and its allies. The Peninsula of Gallipoli saw fierce battle between Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and the Turkish division. The birth of ANZAC between our two nations, recognised as a strong hold that unites our two South Pacific nations.

Later wars (WWII, Korean, Vietnam, etc) have reinforced our bond, oneness and respect to each other.

Today, we have days of remembrance but mostly notable is ANZAC Day in both countries. We remember the many casualties from both countries at Gallipoli and later: they fought for the freedom and quality of lifestyles that we are privileged to live now. We are indebted to them, for all time. Their lives were lost for us to have a future.

“No greater love than this; to lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13.

Words of our Lord Jesus. It speaks of death, sacrifice, life.

Sacrificed that another may live. It is the heart of the Christian message. It is the story of our Lord Jesus Christ. He died that we may have life. Easter is our season when Jesus died and rose again.

What about the soldiers, both men and women, who never made it back home? The adventure was not as anticipated for some. But, regardless, they gave a most precious gift, their lives. They died not in vain, not forgotten, not irrelevant. They are all each remembered, cherished, and they will never be forgotten. We write their names on plaques, in the record books, church registers, in family albums. Children born to later generations will have their names.

We will not forget them.