By Nancy Sortini. Adelaide, SA
I was taught from when I was a young girl to observe ANZAC Day.
I was the youngest of three girls. On the 25th of April, we would go to the local railway station, as we lived in the Adelaide Hills, and head for town. Once there, we would settle in a spot to watch the march. I was too young to understand the significance of the men and women who were marching. I did enjoy the bands and generally enjoyed the morning.
As I grew into my teenage years, being the prolific reader I was, I began reading about the two World Wars — I and II. And, of course, the landing at Gallipoli.
I continued to attend the march every year, but now I was more aware of what it all meant. And just what a travesty war is.
When I became a mother, the enormity of having a child, raising it, and then seeing it go to war with the possibility he or she may never return. It really hit home to me, and then and only then did I understand the suffering so many families endured. Unimaginable grief.
In later years, with the advent of television, and being a busy working mother, I still never missed watching the dawn service and the march. I have attended two dawn services and found them very moving, as one reflected on the horror of what is war.
As I reflect on the coming ANZAC Day, more than ever in my life I am aware of the enormous sacrifices that are made.
May we never have to experience that time again.
Featured photo: Soldiers from the Forty-third Battalion marching down King William Road during the Anzac Day Parade, 1950. Courtesy: The State Library of South Australia.