THERE they will stand in the early morning light, medals resting on their hearts and a glisten in the eye. They will stand tall and proud.
Anzac Day is one of the best and worst days on our calendar.
It is not a day to glorify war, but a day to remember those who fought for their country at home and in battles on foreign soil.
Generations will stand side by side as the sun rises, and then in the morning, to honour the supreme sacrifices those before us have made.
It’s important we continue to recognise the sacrifices people have made in war.
We should also use them as examples of why we should try to avoid conflict.
Commemorative services across the Wimmera will recognise the fallen and those who returned from war – those who allow us to enjoy the lives we have today.
Anzac Day is an important day for my family.
We remember the efforts of my great-grandfather Charles Frederick Grimble, who served with the Army in the First World War in France and Belgium.
He received a Military Medal for bravery, as his award states: “Valuable services as signaller in maintaining communications under heavy fire, showing conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty.”
He also enlisted in the Second World War.
We will remember his son, Max Grimble – my grandfather – who served as a wireless air gunner with the RAAF in Canada, England, India and Burma. The Grimbles were one of eight soldier settlements families granted blocks at Laharum after the Second World War and arrived in 1957.
And we will remember, on the other side of the family, Athol Miller – a Rat of Tobruk who I can recall proudly participated in the Anzac Day procession in Horsham for many years. He, too, was a soldier settler in the Apsley settlement after the war.
Thankfully, these men returned home but many of their mates did not. We can only imagine the horrific experiences they all endured during their service.
We owe it to them to recognise those sacrifices – and the sacrifices today’s defence personnel continue to face.
As Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson, in an address back in 2013, so eloquently puts it – the sacrifices of the past reflect who we were then, who we are today and who we want to be for the future.
Lest we forget.
Jessica Grimble, editor
The story An important day on our national calendar | editorial first appeared on The Wimmera Mail-Times.