Russell Wantling with grandson Clancy Willett wearing family medals.
Russell Wantling with grandson Clancy Willett wearing family medals. Samantha Wantling

Don't befoul Anzac Day legacy

IT IS nearly 103 years since terrified young men scrambled onto the Gallipoli peninsula under the heavy fire of Turkish machine gunfire. Putting into words how I feel about Anzac Day is no easy task.

I honestly believe there are not enough words in the English language that adequately speak to the enormous sacrifice, the enormous courage, the enormous pride or the enormous sense of mateship that surrounds this day. We all know the story of our Anzacs, the day our troops landed at Gallipoli and the day our nation came of age.

We have all seen the movies, the documentaries, the television shows. We have studied the history of war at school. We can recite the losses and the acts of heroism. Factually speaking, there is very little we don't know.

But every year in the lead-up to Anzac Day I hear the critics. Those who believe Gallipoli was a battle fought in vain and those who believe Gallipoli was fought for British interests. While in some very small way this may be correct, to take this battle at such a surface level completely astounds me.

My husband's grandfather fought and survived Gallipoli. For my family, Anzac Day holds place of heart among all days throughout the year and to have someone insinuate that he and those who fought in this battle actually fought in vain is the ultimate insult.

For me, Anzac Day is a day of remembrance. It is a day to not glorify war but to remember the ultimate sacrifices that were made. It is our chance, as a nation, to say thank you for the very freedoms we enjoy today.

Anzac Day should never be complicated. It is very simply our chance to never forget.

So as the cannon sounds, the lone bugler plays the Last Post, the words Lest We Forget are read aloud and our flag is raised to half-mast, I will stand proudly at our local dawn service and say a quiet thank you to all those sons and daughters, past and present, who have earned the right to commemorate this legacy.

Anzac Day Service Times and Road Closures

Stanthorpe:

5.30am: Dawn Service, Weeroona Park

10.30am: Anzac Parade, Cnr Folkstone and Maryland Sts

10.50am: Anzac Service, Stanthorpe Civic Centre

Road closures: Parts of the following streets will be closed on Anzac Day between 10am and 11am for the Anzac Day parade.

Corner of Hilton St and Folkestone St

Corner of Maryland St and Folkestone St

Corner of Maryland St and Railway St

Corner of Lock St and Marsh St

Corner of High St and Lock St

Wallangarra:

5.30am: Dawn Service, Wallangarra RSL Hall

6.15am: Cemetery Service, Wallangarra Cemetery

11.30am: Anzac March, Wallangarra RSL Hall

Noon: Anzac Service, School of Arts

Liston:

5:30am Dawn Service, Liston War Memorial to be followed by breakfast at Liston Hall

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