Good morning Sugers. This morning I am sharing a post with you written by my brother. Last year we all shed a tear with him when he wrote of the first ANZAC day after Ash was killed in Afghanistan. That was a hard year for his mates, harder for Ash’s brother and family. The year since has offered its own challenges, trials and sadness.

This year Dean talks celebrating Anzac day and how, at first, it just didn’t sit well with him anymore. It all seems a bit too real now. Real in the sense that this man we lost wasn’t a distant relative passed before our time or a relatively faceless stranger. This was a man they loved. A young, young man. This was someone who should be here, but isn’t. Celebrating the day, just doesn’t feel right anymore. Or so he thought.

On the radio the other day there was promo for the local radio station. They were going to be paying tribute to the ANZACs all day. They played a recording of people on the street asking what they were doing for Anzac day. One of them said he was “celebrating” ANZAC day with friends. When I first heard this I thought how disturbing that you’re celebrating on a day like this. The words didn’t sit right with me and I wanted to call the station and complain.

However.

I thought what would they be celebrating? Approximately 44,000 allied casualties in the Gallipoli campaign? I don’t think so. I continued to wonder. What does ANZAC day really mean? With the coming of the Second World War they say Anzac Day became a day on which to commemorate the lives of Australians and New Zealanders lost in that war as well and in subsequent years. The meaning of the day has been further broadened to include those killed in ALL the military operations in which the countries have been involved.

The loss of soldiers in current conflicts is hardly worth celebrating.

So I started to think about what the ANZAC spirit that you hear about continuously. The mateship, courage, resilience that is referred to with a level of reverence not just on ANZAC Day or Remembrance Day BUT all year round. They are spoken from the mouths of those in the Defence Force today and not in a past tense way. In a here and now sort of way. Spoken from the mouth of Benjamin Roberts-Smith VC MG whenever I’ve heard interviews with him. He is always talking mateship. Speaking of it even when talking to the Queen.

Maybe that’s what they were celebrating?

Or maybe, we celebrate the lives of those lost. The good times, the life they lived, the memories they created that will never fade. Like the times spent with Ash. Times we never let stray from our memories for long. Not dwelling on what might have been and all that has been lost. Now that in my opinion is worth celebrating. Maybe I owe it that guy on the radio. He helped me in a round about way to remember the good times, celebrate the achievements and be thankful there are still people in this world willing to risk it all. And sometimes lose.

So to ALL past and present men and women who have served this country. To ALL those that have lost their lives during this service. To ALL those still battling with the demons that this service has caused them. Their families and friends loved ones past and present. I raise a glass and say thank you. THANK YOU and keep up the good work. We won’t forget.

We will remember them, Lest We Forget