Generations standing side by side for the ANZAC’S

By Mischeline King

As I stood back and watched the flow of people, young and old make their way to the ANZAC Day Dawn Service, it struck me the perception of this day varies across all age groups and that we all stood there on that frosty morning all with different insights on what this day means, but stood for the same reason.

There were young children no older than five years, draped in the Australian Flag, War Veterans adorned with their medallions and people like me watching on, admiring the diverse range of age groups all there to pay their respects.

IMG_4046Once upon a time ANZAC Day, was a day for the older generations to look back and remember, commemorate and honour the achievements of the ANZAC’s. However, to the younger generations in those days, it was perceived as a day for returned serviceman to ‘drink too much’ and reflect on the war in what was regarded as a ‘glorified’ way.

But how times have changed… It is now the younger generations, even younger than myself that wants to stand up and show their respect. It is now the younger generations representing their elders before them in marches and it is the younger generations who have made the landing of Gallipoli a destination that all should see. The children of this generation now see the importance of ANZAC Day, just as much as those who fought for us all.

IMG_4010This new perception was so apparent in the early morning of April 25. The innocent school children, who should know no meaning of the word ‘War’, were shedding tears for those fallen soldiers. They stood beside men who have witnessed the cruel reality that is ANZAC Day, and they stood beside them just as proud. The children marched alongside their heroes and laid reeves together. They shook their elder’s hands to say thank you and we all stood in unisons, young and old together to stand our minute silence.

Although the younger generation once regarded ANZAC Day as a glorified celebration, they are now understanding the true meaning of ANZAC Day. I am proud to say my generation now stand side by side those servicemen for the very same reason – to pay our respects and say thanks.

And it is apparent that our elders appreciate our dedication to this day, as on the early hours of April 25, I witnessed a smile being shared across the generations that needed no words, but more so than just a smile it was a thank you being shared.