Tomorrow, we commemorate Anzac Day. Anzac Day is a day where Australians remember the sacrifice of those who died in wars in service to their (our) country. In the latter half of the 20th Century, there was a move to ‘forget about’ or ‘ignore’ this day. It was said to glorify war and there was no place for that in our society. Ignoring history doesn’t erase its effect on us and it has been said that if we don’t learn from the lessons of the past, we risk repeating that past. Anzac Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on the cost of war, how it shaped our country, and enables us to reflect on why these things happen. Many memorials around the country contain the words, “Lest We Forget” and it is important for society as a whole not to forget. The past shapes our present, our identity and our culture.

It’s very easy for us in our culture of busyness to forget things.  Some people seem to have perfected the art of making the same mistakes over and over. How can we avoid that in our own lives? How might we teach our children to do the same? It’s good to stop and notice what’s going on in our lives and think about things, both the good and the not so good. Be thankful for the good things. Consider what we might do differently in the future in those situations that didn’t go so well. Having a discussion about this with someone close to us is often helpful. Developing a ‘tradition’ helps us remember significant things, whether a birthday, a marriage, the passing of a loved one or something else that’s important to us. Are there special occasions that you want your family to remember?

Anzac Day parades and services enable us to remember as a community. We can think about and reflect on the sacrifice made by others, be thankful for them and honour their memories. We can be thankful that we live in a free country, abundantly blessed by God.

Jenny Billingham

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