A day to honour people, not war
Brigadier Marcus Thompson has encouraged Horsham district residents to use Anzac Day as an opportunity to invigorate national spirit and pride.
Brigadier Thompson was the guest speaker at services at the city’s centotaph as people from across the region gathered to honour past and present service men and women.
“While this morning marks the 102nd anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli, it is not just the First World War that we remember on this day,” he said.
“This is a day set aside for us to collectively give thanks to all the men and women who put their lives at risk and, in many cases, played the supreme price on behalf of our nation.
“We remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and those who did return – and also those who sustained significant wounds and scars, not all which are necessarily visable.
“For some, the experience of war will leave them scarred for the rest of their lives.”
Brigadier Thompson said Anzac Day was a day for all Australians, regardless of religion, racial background or even place of birth.
“Anzac Day is not a day to honour war, because war is not something to be honoured,” he said.
“We do, however, on Anzac Day, honour the people who have undertaken warfare to protect Australia’s sovereignty, no matter how distasteful it might have been for them personally and in spite of the risk of them losing their lives.
“Anzac Day reminds us that war should be avoided, but when necessary, that we must stand up for our values.”
Horsham RSL president Robert Lockwood praised Brigadier Thompson’s speech and said it would have struck a chord with many people present.
He thanked the Horsham district community for supporting this year’s dawn and morning services and march.
“The weather was a little threatening but in the morning a breeze came up and the rain held off, which definitely helped,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better result.”
Mr Lockwood said about 2000 people gathered for the dawn service.
He said the number was down slightly on last year, which he attributed to the weather.
“Despite that we thought the crowds were fantastic,” he said.
“We loved the participation of the Horsham community.”
Mr Lockwood thanked Horsham Rural City Council staff and a commemorative committee for their efforts to ensure the day ran smoothly.
Communities across the Wimmera, Mallee and Grampians gathered for services, marches and other events yesterday to pay tribute to all Australian who served and died in war and on operational service.
• For photos and video of commemorations, visit www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au.
Pictured, clockwise from top left, Seb Dalgleish, Claire Bourke and Geoff Lord lay a wreath at Horsham’s Anzac Day dawn service; Brian Kuchel with his grand-daughters Macy and Shallan Hyett and great-grandsons Tylan and Brodey Collins at Horsham’s...