ANZAC Day has been commemorated annually in Australia since the Gallipoli landing on 25 April 1915. It has been significant in defining the Australian nation. This year, and for the years to come, we have to keep the tradition alive. We, as a nation, will never forget, and we shall be forever grateful. Here are 12 things you can do to make ANZAC Day even more meaningful:
3. Help out at your local RSL branch. Pledge a little of your time to help make the lives of our veterans and their dependants better through the welfare and community support activities of the Retired Services Leagure (RSL). Click here for details.
4. Support our troops in active duty, particularly those deployed in conflicts overseas. Send an email to the troops at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send them a postcard. Postcards can be sent to:
Messages to the Troops Media Section 39 Personnel Support Battalion
6. Support veterans in their homes or in residential care facilities by providing social interaction, transport for social activities, medical and other appointments, or administrative support to local RSL Care offices. Click here for more information.
The Australian Army serve in conflict areas abroad to maintain regional stability and peace. Photo from the Australian Army.
8. Plant poppies, preferably with your family and children. Share with them the tradition so we do not forget. Why poppies, you may wonder? During the First World War, a powerful symbolism was attached to the poppies. Red poppies were among the first plants to bloom in the battlefields of France and Belgium, and soldiers take this to remind them of the blood of their fallen comrades that soaked the fields. Through the years, poppies have become part of the symbols of ANZAC. Read more by clicking here.
9. Watch the ANZAC Day matches. It is a fitting tribute that sports heroes play their best on the day we commemorate the real heroes of the nation. This ANZAC Day 2014, at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney,the Dragons play against the Roosters. At the AAMI Park in Melbourne, Storm takes on Warriors and at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Broncos play against Rabbitohs.
10. Watch Gallipoli, an Australian classic of all time. It is a 1981 film which tells of the story two Australian sprinters who had to face the brutal realities of war when they were sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during the First World War. Starring the Aussie Hollywood star Mel Gibson. Click here for details about the movie.
12. Recite the Ode. The Ode is the fourth stanza of the poem For the Fallen by English poet and writer Laurence Binyon. No matter how and where you commemorate ANZAC, a quiet reflection on the sacrifices of the men and women in service, coupled with a recitation of the Ode, will make your ANZAC Day a meaningful one.
The men and women of the Australian armed forces play a key role in preventing the escalation of conflict overseas. Photo from the Australian Army.