Com­ing to­gether helps us to heal

Whitsunday Times - - YOUR SAY - SHARON SMALLWOOD Ed­i­tor

IT WAS no sur­prise to learn we had a record crowd at the Anzac Day Dawn Ser­vice this week.

In light of re­cent events, I fully ex­pected to see the com­mu­nity turn out in droves for what is al­ready one of our big­gest an­nual events.

And turn out in droves the com­mu­nity did, with an es­ti­mated crowd of al­most 3500 in at­ten­dance.

It was in­ter­est­ing to lis­ten to the speeches given by Air­lie Beach / Whit­sun­day RSL sub-branch pres­i­dent Terry Brown and Mem­ber for Whit­sun­day Jason Costi­gan, both of whom drew par­al­lels be­tween what Anzac Day means and what the Whit­sun­day com­mu­nity has ex­pe­ri­enced while deal­ing with Cy­clone Deb­bie.

Terry Brown spoke of the qual­i­ties of mate­ship so of­ten as­so­ci­ated with the An­zacs and ev­i­dent on the ground in the Whit­sun­days in re­cent weeks.

And Jason Costi­gan ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to the Aus­tralian De­fence Force per­son­nel, who we usu­ally pay trib­ute to for their ef­forts in war, but on Tues­day were praised for their con­tri­bu­tion to dis­as­ter re­cov­ery and emer­gency re­lief in the wake of Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie.

I think Anzac Day 2017 meant some­thing a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent to all of us this year and prob­a­bly al­ways will.

I know it did for me.

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