Acknowledgments: Traditional landowners VIPs
The RSL The Pilbara Regiment and past and present service personnel
Good morning everyone.
Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional custodians, both past and present, of the land on which we meet this morning – the Ngarluma people.
Today we come together to mark one of our most important national occasions – ANZAC Day.
April 25 marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I, when 16,000 of our brave young men landed at what is now called Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula on this day in 1915.
By that evening, 2000 of these boys had been killed or wounded and by the end of the eight month campaign, over 10,000 had lost their lives.
Today we commemorate those “Knights of Gallipoli” but also the thousands of men and women who served elsewhere in the past century. In World War I – at the horrendous battles of Fromelles, Bullecourt, Messines and Passchendale; in World War 2 – across Europe, north Africa, New Guinea, and the Pacific; in Korea, in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere across the globe.
Together, we honour the Anzacs courage and their sacrifice; but we also honour the families and loved ones they left behind to defend the freedoms we enjoy today.
Unlike the current information age, where social media allows us to constantly and instantly communicate, in the wars our forebears fought, communication was slow, intermittent and often non-existent.
And so, how hard it was for families whose husbands, fathers, brothers, sons and nursing daughters were far away in foreign lands – often unheard of, unless the dreaded telegram came with news that no one wanted.
But for the families whose members did not return home, life had to go on. And those who returned had to somehow transition back into civilian life – sometimes with physical but almost always with mental scars.
Today we take a moment to also acknowledge our current armed forces personnel, the men and women of the Pilbara Regiment and the wider Australian Defence Force along with those of other allied nations.
We are forever indebted and sincerely grateful for what these men and women have provided for us as a nation; for their service, their sacrifice and their bravery.
Lest we forget.