It was not so long ago that veterans groups feared that the Anzac memory would be lost with the passing of the Anzacs, but turnouts at services across the country show a renewed interest in our military history.
We had a very good turn out for the Eltham ANZAC Day parade, it seems to have been better attended ever year for the last four years. It feels that the people are making ANZAC Day our real ‘National Day’; Anzac Day now has wider meaning. This year the Joeys made wreaths, and then placed them for the group at the public wreath laying.
Record crowds honour Anzacs
Monday, April 25, 2005 [ABC]
Australians have turned out in record numbers at Anzac Day services and marches across the country, and the world, to mark the 90th anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli.
The dawn service at Gallipoli drew an estimated record crowd of 22,000 people, who watched as a lights display lit up the cliffs where the Anzacs were forced to dig in.
The Prime Minister John Howard reflected on a “century of sacrifice”, saying the Anzac spirit born at Gallipoli lives on in the Australians who have served in more recent overseas missions.
“It lives on in the valour and the sacrifice of young men and women that ennoble Australia in our time – in scrub in the Solomons, in the villages of Timor, in the deserts of Iraq and the coast of Nias,” he said.
The Defence Force Chief General Peter Cosgrove said the ceremony was not to glorify war but to honour those who died.
The president of the Australian RSL, Major General Bill Crews, says Gallipoli has contributed to what makes us uniquely Australian.
General Crews says it is gratifying to hear how many people are remembering the Anzac legend today.
“It makes us feel very satisfied that many people in Australia are now recognising the spirit of Anzac and what those people 90 years ago gave us, both in terms of our freedom and way of life and the Australian characteristics that were well-defined on that occasion,” he said. …
Australia’s Peter Cosgrove drew out the great lessons: “It is not to glorify war: it is to honour the memory of those men and women of all nations who fought here. We remember their essential humanity, for they were not unlike us. They struggled to live well, and if needs must, to die with as much dignity as war allowed. For us, that is example enough.”