Editorial: Day we connect to past

By Andrew Bonallack

ANZAC day is a day to pay homage to the past.
ANZAC day is a day to pay homage to the past.

I remarked before that Anzac Day provides people with a sense of being connected, and paying homage to something that is bigger than ourselves. I've said this need lies in all of us, and even had the temerity to suggest that for those of us who aren't religious, it fills that need to connect to a greater ideal.

Anzac Day morning had that feeling of people being glad and proud to sacrifice their morning (and a sleep-in) to share in a sense of honour, if only for a short time.

We're noting a sacrifice we can barely comprehend. A culture of conflict which people simply called "the war". In comparison to religion it's recent history. It's real.

Yet over 30 years ago, when I was a boy scout and it was our obligatory duty to turn up to Anzac services, remembering the "war" seemed not only pointless but even a little tasteless to a boy raised by liberal parents.

Back then, RSAs were places with snooker tables and heavy drinkers, and cops waited down the road to catch drink-drivers.

But 30 years ago, there were a lot of veterans. Now, in terms of World War II, there are extremely few.

Perhaps now we turn out in greater numbers, not only to pay perhaps a vague homage to those young men and women who fell during the war, but because of a greater reality - many of the survivors, our relatives, our grandfathers and great-grandfathers, are now dead. I suspect we are at these services, in bigger numbers than ever, because we pay homage to real people we knew. So, on Anzac Day I can thank those who risked everything, and returned to New Zealand, to father a prosperous nation. It means the existence of my family today.APN News & Media

- Northern Advocate

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