RSL sub-branch president George Donohue giving an address at a Remembrance Day service.
RSL sub-branch president George Donohue giving an address at a Remembrance Day service. Andrew Messenger

President's message for Anzac Day

This year on Thursday the 25th of April, marks the 101st anniversary since the end of World War I.

The Charleville RSL Sub-branch will be conducting Anzac Day commemoration services, and the Dawn Service will start at 5.15am, and following the service all service and ex-service personnel and their partners and visitors are invited to attend the traditional "gunfire” breakfast at the RSL Club.

All schools, clubs, emergency services, veterans, service and ex-service personnel attending the march and morning service are asked to assemble in Alfred Street at 9.20am at Historic House, for the march to start at 9.40am. The Service at the Cenotaph will start at 10am.

Our guest speaker this year is former local, Tyler Washington, who attended school in Charleville and served in Afghanistan .

On Wednesday, April 24th at 9.30am, members of the Charleville RSL Sub-branch will be placing flags and poppies on the graves of more than 200 veterans at the cemetery. If people can assist, they are welcome to attend.

WHAT IS ANZAC DAY?

Before I talk about Anzac Day, don't let us forget Australia's first war as a nation, the Boer War; where our troops went as separate states, but came back as a nation in 1902.

In the centre of the street in front of our memorial in Charleville, there is a mural of the Boer War Memorial, which is in Canberra.

Anzac Day, April 25th, is probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as Anzacs, and the pride they took in the name endures to this day.

This year will marks the 104th anniversary of the 4.30 am landing of the ANZACS at Gallipoli, and we must remember there great courage and sacrifice and mateship.

In all records of war, however, there are not only stories of death, but also of courage and kindship. There are tales, such as our own, of countries becoming nations, boys becoming men, of mates never letting each other down. The Anzac legacy forged unknowingly by those brave soldiers who rushed ashore at Gallipoli that fateful morning, has endured for over a century.

When we pause to remember those young brave men who fought on the shores of Gallipoli, it is important not to forget the battles that followed.

The soldiers that survived Gallipoli were later shipped off to the Western Front and the Middle East to join other Australian and allied forces in battles just as bad.

Sadly the end of WWI, "the war to end all wars”, was not to last. We must remember those that served and those who died during World War 11, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Iraq, Afganistan and other Peace Keeping Missions.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TODAY

Australians recognise the 25th of April as an occasion of national commemoration. Services are held at dawn-the time of the original landing -across the nation.

Later in the day commemorative ceremonies and marches are held at War Memorials around the country. It is a day that Australians reflect on the many different meanings of war.


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