Every year on April 25th, Australians gather as a nation and pause to give tribute to the heroes and heroines from wars past and to reflect on the many different meanings of war. This day is known as ANZAC day (Australia & New Zealand Army Corps- the Anzacs).
It is a time to reflect on all those who were killed in battle and who fought for freedom (conscripted or otherwise).
It is a time to cook up ANZAC day biscuits, shine up our parents, grandparents and great grand-parents war medals and maybe have a game of two-up.
The day marks the first major military action by Australian and New Zealand forces. It marks the anniversary of that fateful day the ANZACís landed at Gallipoli in 1915. A campaign with dreadful consequences- over 8,000 ANZACís were killed in a battle that ensued for eight months and has now become legendary.
The troops actions during this campaign left a powerful legacy and has formed a strong part of our nations identity.
The ANZAC day march is an ode to peace and an elegy to what lives have been destroyed by war. It is a ghost that effects a nation but it is also a ghost that haunts many individuals. Those few Anzacs that remain from the world wars carry in their minds the images of atrocity caused by hate and greed.
We honour our heroes with ďLest We ForgetĒ. Iím sure some wish they could.
A young girl proudly bears the medals of a pre-decessor even as they weigh down on her jacket. She holds the hand of her father, a war veteran who leans heavily on a cane. She has never known war and is excited by the many people that wave and clap at her as she marches by.
IMAGE 2 of 4 GHOSTS OF THE PAST