This morning and today across the Western Bay, other parts of New Zealand, Australia and other parts of the world, hundreds of thousands marked Anzac Day, a day for remembering the brave.

Thousands attended ceremonies; others remembered in their own way, giving quiet thanks to those who laid down their lives, or risked their lives to defeat evil, so subsequent generations could have life and freedom.

It is always encouraging to see people from all generations at the dawn ceremonies. It is not to glorify the wars. They were horrific conflicts, where many men went off to fight barely out of childhood, like veteran George Wooton, in our story on p2 and 3. who signed up with the Navy at just 16. It must have been horrendous for mothers and wives to send their sons and lovers to what could have been their death.

How disheartening it must be for those men who survived the wars, like Wooton, to look at the world today and still see so much conflict raging.

Advertisement

It is important the tradition of Anzac Day lives on, not just to give thanks to the brave who fought, and respect and remember all those who lost their lives.

But it is also important to have a day where generations can remember these wars, why they happened, and why we should all do our utmost to defend freedom and prevent conflict.

We owe it to all those men and women who gave up so much for us to make this world that they left us, the best it can be.