Each year we pause as a nation on the 25th April to remember. We are humbly united in gratitude, with grateful thanks for those who have served and continue to serve in our defence force.
We reflect on the sacrifices of those who died in the midst of battle and we shudder to think about the physical, emotional and mental wounds borne by those who did return. The devastating impact war has on the soldiers, sailors and airmen and women who fought and continue to fight for our country is immeasurable. It is however, the high price paid to ensure we all live in the lucky country, a land of peace, freedom and individual liberties we so often take for granted.
As we continue to mark the Centenary of Anzac, we remember those who gave birth to modern Australia, the Diggers whose sense of mate ship, larrikinism and loyalty left a proud tradition which defence personnel proudly keep alive today.
It is important we never lose sight of the human cost of war and I encourage everyone in the Riverina and Central West to participate in an Anzac service in their home town or village this Anzac Day. Attend a march, pause and listen to the chilling sound of the bugle as the Last Post is played, remember and give thanks for the lives and service that others gave so we may enjoy today.
I will be attending services in The Rock, Collingullie, Wagga and Bimbi and look forward to meeting with and thanking many current and former servicemen and women from our defence force for their contribution and service to our nation.
By Anzac Day everyone in the electorate should have received my annual Anzac Day commemorative booklet. I encourage you to read through the stories of local heroes from across the Riverina and Central West, as well as the winning entries from school students who have reflected on what Anzac Day means to them. The booklet also includes times of local Anzac services across the electorate.
This and every Anzac Day may we commit to always remember them.
Lest We Forget.