Josie Illig has been drawn as the lucky winner in the Stawell Times News Anzac Day Great War competition.
Josie claimed the magnificent prize pack, which includes commemorative Sands of Gallipoli medallions and The Great War Memory Penny Diaries, which were especially created to bring the story of the Great War to life for modern readers.
This is the premier collection of Great War tales and insights with aspects of the war and home life discussed through the eyes of John Murray, a 19 year old Sydneysider who will leave his life at home and travel the path of the Great War with his notebook and pen in hand.
Josie submitted the following entry in the competition, which was judged as the winner.
Lest We Forget
As the lone bugle sounds, I look up at the stars and see in each one, the spirit of an Australian who served and died for their country.
The Last Post echoes around the still figures gathered around the memorial. They reflect silently on the courage and sacrifice of our armed forces.
I imagine dawn breaking in a foreign place, fear in the shadows, strained senses and the shock of a sudden attack. I imagine dusk, the tired smell of dust and sweat and the ever present threat of injury or death. I imagine a mother's joy when her son or daughter returns safe and well after an assignment...and the terrible grief when they do not. I imagine the lingering sadness of those who watched their comrades fall. I imagine fields filled with gravestones as countless as the stars.
And I imagine friendship, loyalty and brief moments of shared laughter.
Proud ex-servicemen display their medals and salute each other with respect. Wreaths are laid with reference. The sky gradually brightens and Anzac Day has begun.
I am lucky - war has not touched me. I remember, because they fought and died so we can live in peace.