Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

IT WAS en­cour­ag­ing to see the num­bers at this year’s An­zac Day dawn ser­vice in Can­non­vale.

Last year saw a record 3000-strong crowd – but last year was the cen­te­nary – so we ex­pected the num­bers would be up.

The fact they did not dip – and it’s be­lieved even increased slightly this year – shows the re­spect for this tra­di­tion and the many peo­ple who have fought for our free­doms.

That this con­tin­ues to grow in our com­mu­ni­ties is a credit to us and the younger generation, who will ul­ti­mately carry it on.

As al­ways there were some amaz­ing sto­ries to rise with the sun on Mon­day.

Tales of lives and loved ones lost and vet­er­ans who’ve seen first­hand the hor­rors of war too ter­ri­ble to talk about.

From the com­fort of our se­cure homes here in par­adise, it’s hard to com­pre­hend what our fore­fa­thers went through so that we might walk free.

And of course those bat­tles con­tinue to­day.

The wars in the Mid­dle East rage on and all too of­ten these days we seem to be con­fronted with im­agery of hor­rific ter­ror­ist at­tacks on our tele­vi­sion and computer screens.

Just as they did 100 years ago, there are still men and women lay­ing their lives on the line in the hopes of putting an end to the con­flicts world­wide.

As was brought home in many of the speeches de­liv­ered on the day, the An­zac tra­di­tion is not about the glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of war, it is about a cel­e­bra­tion of our free­dom and an ac­knowl­edge­ment of the courage and sac­ri­fice of those who con­tinue to shape our iden­tity as na­tions.

Lest we for­get. Sharon Small­wood Edi­tor

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