A day to hon­our peo­ple, not war

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY SARAH SCULLY

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...

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