Southern Gazette (Victoria Park) - - Opinion -

HOW lucky are we.

A lot of Aus­tralians prob­a­bly take our free­doms for granted, as a lot of us have grown up know­ing no dif­fer­ent.

We think noth­ing of the op­por­tu­ni­ties our fam­i­lies, chil­dren and grand­chil­dren have. We can sit and re­lax at a road­side cafe shar­ing a cof­fee with friends with no real fear of bomb ex­plo­sions and/or sus­tained ma­chine-gun fire.

Way back in the early seven­ties, whilst serv­ing in North­ern Ire­land.

An ex­plo­sion at a cafe­te­ria in­side a very large shop­ping mall. Shop­pers with their shop­ping trol­leys be­side them, sat sip­ping tea and chat­ting.

A bomb hid­den in­side a shop­ping trol­ley has been wheeled in, and placed be­side them. Eigh­teen in­no­cent women and chil­dren were killed and twice as many se­ri­ously maimed and in­jured

To­day in our won­der­ful coun­try, when out shop­ping, I don’t look over my shoul­der or jump at a loud noise. I am grate­ful to sit, re­lax and take the load off my feet, along with en­joy­ing a low-calo­rie cream cake with a cof­fee, chat with my wife Lyn, care­free and happy (Well most of the time!).

I be­lieve many past and es­pe­cially our present mem­bers of the De­fences forces can tell you sim­i­lar sto­ries.

They, like I, are proud to be Aus­tralian, and grate­ful to live a life with per­sonal choices and with­out fear.

Steve Toon,


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