Honouring our History on Anzac Day

Julian Leeser MP

This Anzac Day – all Australians would have rightly reflected on the selflessness, strength and sacrifice of those who have served our nation. We take time to pause and pay tribute to the more than 1.5 million service men and women who have defended our country in conflicts past and present and we honour the more than 100,000 who have sacrificed their lives for Australia.

2018 marks the final year of the Anzac Centenary, commemorating the First World War. A century since our Forces’ famous victory at Villers-Bretonneoux, since our Diggers made history at Hamel, since Sir Monash moved on Mont St Quentin, since Australia and the Allies broke the Stalemate and achieved Armistice. In reflecting and recognising on the tragedies and triumphs of 1918, we can all be proud of the courageous contribution made by that past great generation of Australians. We honour the story of their sacrifice, the courage of their convictions and the legacy of their loss. We allow the Anzac Centenary to inspire us, just as it inspires the men and women who wear with the pride the uniforms of the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force today.

Throughout this final year of Anzac Centenary, I’ll be reflecting on the legacy of local contributions to conflict, particularly the First World War. Men like Private Elmer Motter from Glenhaven, who sustained fatal shrapnel wounds during the Battle of Mont St Quentin 100 years ago. Soldiers like Sergeant Alwyn Black from Glenorie, who died on the Western Front a century ago after being hit by shell fire. Diggers from Dural like Private John Hunt, who lost his life when shot while on a wiring mission in No Man’s Land. They all gave their lives so past, present and future generations of Australians could live theirs.

To all the men and women, past and present, who have served our country and worn our nation’s uniform, we thank you. We honour you not just on Anzac Day — but on all days where Australians are able to live their lives with freedom and fortune because of your selfless service.