THE Anzac tradition will again be in the spotlight tomorrow as Papua New Guineans join Australians and New Zealanders in remembering the sacrifices of the first Anzacs as well as those who laid down their lives in the service of their country in more recent conflicts around the globe.
Tomorrow, it will be 94 years since Australian and
Although it is nearly a century since the terrible events of Gallipoli, it is important for all of us to pause to reflect on the tragedy of war and conflict, which continue even in this seemingly peaceful time.
In the year since last Anzac Day, six Australian soldiers have died in action in
That is the greatest loss of lives of Australian soldiers in war since the Vietnam War which ended more than three decades ago.
Australian defence personnel will gather at the Bomana war cemetery in
On the Gallipoli peninsula, thousands of Australians and New Zealanders will attend the traditional dawn service. Australian foreign minister Stephen Smith will represent his government. And in France, hundreds, many travelling across the English Channel from the
Thousands of war veterans will re-live battles fought long ago in faraway lands – stories of courage, sacrifice and, ultimately, triumph against impossible odds.
They will also be remembering mates who never made it back, forever to lie in graves far from home. They will remember the misery, fear and suffering that war always inflicts.
The World War II veteran recalled the horrifying events yesterday. Japanese soldiers outnumbered the Aussie diggers of the 39th Battalion 10 to one at Kokoda, so artillery and
“We could hear them, but we couldn’t see the planes,” he said.
“But the bombers ended up dropping the bombs five
miles out to sea.”
The off-target bombing and a hard-fought battle against the Japanese, with some timely help from the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, is how Mr Palmer lived to tell the tale, and to march in
Here in PNG, those who fought and those who lived through World War II will have their own memories of the fateful events of that era. Soldiers from distant lands criss-crossing their homeland, causing massive devastation for reasons most of them could not fathom.
From the jungles and beaches of Rabaul and Wewak, from the mountains of Morobe to Kokoda, Guna, Bona and Sanananda, Papua New Guineans joined hands with the Australians to fight off the rampaging Japanese.
Few of the Fuzzy Wuzzies are left today, but those who are still with us and their descendants can take comfort in the knowledge that their sacrifice all those years ago allows us to live in freedom today.
The generous response from Papua New Guineans to the Victorian bushfire disaster earlier this year shows that an abundance of goodwill towards
Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare’s State visit to
So on the eve of this Anzac Day, we salute those who fought and died in battle, and acknowledge that we are forever indebted to them.