ANZAC stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corp. On the 25th of April 1915, soldiers from Australia and New Zealand formed part of the WWI allied expedition attempting to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. They thereafter became known as the Anzacs.
ANZAC day is when we remember those who fight for, defend and represent our country, at great personal cost and sacrifice. We take the time today to stop and remember those who have gone before us. Those who have helped provide the freedoms and lifestyle that we are privileged to enjoy.
I cannot imagine the sorrow and fear of seeing your loved ones heading off to war, knowing they may not return. I think particularly of the mothers and wives of World Wars past, left to carry on, while worrying and praying for their husband and/or sons; and grieving when they do not return.
I don’t imagine being a soldier is a glamorous life, even when not on deployment to a war zone. Physical training and sacrifice, time away from family and loved ones. Not to mention the hardships of being in war conditions – I think we can all agree that war is unpleasant, heartbreaking and costly to say the least.
As strange as it may sound, Haydn Lea, a Chaplin and former Air Force member, describes fighting in a war as an act of love. To love and protect people who are in need. He reflects on the words of Jesus that to lay down your life for another is an act of love (John 15:13).
So today we remember with gratitude the men and women who fight and those who have laid down their lives for others. Pray for peace in our world, so such sacrifice will no longer be needed.
You can read more about this history of Anzac day here.
For tips on talking to young children about Anzac Day, see this article from Child Wellbeing Centre.