Two weeks ago, I travelled interstate to watch my son march out of Army Boot camp after three months of hard training. The young men and women conducted their parade drill with precision, pride in themselves and their ceremonial uniforms. It was hard to believe that was me 31 years ago, 18 years old and bullet proof; ready to take on the world single handed if need be.
I finished my trip with a visit to the nation’s war memorial in Canberra, our countries most treasured symbol of the price paid when politics fail or tyrants must be confronted and defeated. Walking those hallowed halls, the faces of young men and women fighting and dying over a century of conflict continued to draw my mind back to the parade ground a few days earlier. Can I trust my countries leaders with the flower of our nation’s youth?
When I watch the nightly news, I’m not so sure. Unlike the brutal world wars which had (mostly) the support of the people and political parties, “modern” conflicts are fought on TV, watched by a divided nation as political parties bicker over “the cost of war”.
On the 25th of April, ANZAC day, I will be watching the sun rise over my local dawn service. I will bow my head, reflect on the courage and sacrifice of the veterans and pray that my elected officials understand there is a price to be paid when the fighting begins. For our young women and men who go to work each day to keep us safe, there is no room for petty politics.
Lest we forget.
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