Anzac Day Address
Period of Service: 24/06/2010 to 27/06/2013
Release Date: 25/04/2013
Release Type: Speech
Transcript ID: 19272
Morning Service, Townsville
"Australians said goodbye ... and promised never to forget."
ANZAC DAY ADDRESS
MORNING SERVICE, TOWNSVILLE
25 APRIL 2013
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So often, war means saying goodbye.
This city of Townsville understands that truth so well.
No one better exemplifies the ANZAC story of duty and sacrifice than the uniformed men and women of this garrison city who leave here so often to serve Australia overseas.
We honour you today.
No one better exemplifies the respect, the admiration, the affection, the love, we feel for our people in uniform than the families and citizens of this great Australian community.
Today, we honour your sacrifice too.
Saying goodbye in the hope your loved one will come back.
That is the story of this community today - it has been the story of so many Australian communities throughout our history - just as it was the story of the families and communities who farewelled the ANZACs in 1914 and 1915.
On docks and at railway stations around our land, mothers, wives, little brothers and sisters bravely suppressed tears.
Fathers extended grim handshakes.
Australians said good bye and promised never to forget.
Those who have been to war - you who have been to war - never forget its horror.
So many spend a lifetime comprehending the strange miracle of their own survival.The families of 102 000 Australians who died for us never forget war's horror too.
The dreadful sight of a clergyman or telegram boy coming up the driveway.
Or the phone ringing unexpectedly in the cool of night.
The wounded never forget the horror of war, imprinted as it is on their bodies and their minds.
They returned to lives that could never be what they once were.
Their loved ones often facing a different and longer battle behind the walls of the family home.
This is war as our country has known it - war as we remember it on this day.
War as the worst of human experience, war with its full dreadful price.
But with its pride and victories as well.
We remember that today, we remember our whole experience.
So if you want to know about Townsville, come here on ANZAC Day.
If you want to understand Australians, watch us on ANZAC Day.
You will see ceremonies as grave and solemn as any in Europe.
A nation which expresses its most eloquent patriotic spirit in the silences we share on this day.
Moments later, joyful laughter, rum and milk, two-up and the telling of stories that get taller by the hour - softening perhaps, but never denying, the truths of this day.
So much has been given to our nation by all who served.
And so little is asked in return.
That for a few hours each year, we hush the busy course of our lives and dedicate this day, to remember.
Lest we forget.