I wonder – if there were any ANZACs alive today – what they would make of the current Pandemic the world is facing?
I imagine our ANZACs would be able to relate to being thrust into a situation that is out of our control. I imagine they’d also respect the orders for social isolation, if that is what it takes to beat the enemy. I imagine they would not like the fact that all – men, women and children – are in this battle together against an invisible enemy, no matter where you are in the world. Our ANZACs fought a war from afar, trusting that their loved ones were safe back home, so I imagine they would struggle with the frontier being just beyond their front door.
I also imagine they’d struggle with the inactivity and not being able to tackle the enemy head-on, they’d be bored and restless, wanting to act. I imagine they would be in disbelief that we turned on each other for the sake of toilet paper! Without doubt they’d be in awe of the doctors, nurses, ambos, and orderlies who are once again on the front line, helping us all win a battle that we hope is winnable. They’d be horrified to think that our wonderful medicos were being treated in any way other than with total respect.
Sadly, they are not here to confirm or deny my musings, regardless, I feel assured that they’d want the ANZAC Spirit – the Spirit that they fought so hard for – to live on, through us, in every individual response to this Pandemic.
The ANZAC spirit is not about the battle; it is about how we conduct ourselves in unthinkable circumstances we’d rather not be in. The ANZAC characteristics in my mind are mateship, teamwork (even in isolation), bravery, doing what you say you are going to do, putting your mates first, looking out for others, facing challenges head-on, being reliable and sometimes doing what you don’t want to do.
At this unthinkable time, I urge everyone to adopt the ANZAC spirit as we act together to protect our communities, to heed the advice and take responsibility.
While we cannot join together to remember our fallen, please remember to honour those gallant men and women who have served our country during times of conflict and to reflect upon their selfless sacrifice.
Please remember that ANZAC day is significant because the courage shown by our ANZACs on that day and throughout the Gallipoli campaign symbolised the beginning of our true national identity. Who we are as a nation was built from the ANZAC spirit – their unbelievable courage and endurance against the greatest of odds. They became ‘ANZAC legends’ because they were sent into an unwinnable situation and they fought gallantly and heroically and put ANZAC mateship eternally on the international map. We will know we have won, when we’ve found a vaccine and importantly can say our ANZACs would be proud of how we met the challenge.
Lest we forget.
President, Samford RSL