Letters to the editor

Lest We Forget

On Anzac Day, Australians around the country and around the world will stop to reflect on the service and sacrifice of those who have served our nation.

This year marks 100 years since the end of the First World War and the final year of the Anzac Centenary period which has spanned 2014 through to 2018.

While Gallipoli remains a place of great significance to Australians on 25 April due to the courage of those who landed on that first day and all those who served throughout the eight-month campaign that followed, it was 100 years ago, this year that Australia was involved in one of the Western Front’s most important battles.

On 25 April 1918, the Battle of Villers-Bretonneoux occurred, three years to the day after the first landings at Gallipoli. The Battle of Villers-Bretonneoux was an important victory for the Allies that ended the German advance.

More than 295,000 Australians served on the Western Front overall and some 46,000 lost their lives.

Anzac Day is a time for Australians to remember the more than 1.5 million service men and women who have defended our country in all conflicts, wars and peacekeeping operations and the more than 102,000 who sacrificed their lives for our country and the freedoms we enjoy.

This ANZAC day, I encourage all to reflect on the battles lost and won and the great sacrifices made by those who fought them on our behalf. Lest We Forget.

Tony Pasin, Federal Member for Barker.

ANZAC DAY IN THE BAROSSA VALLEY

This year marks the final Anzac Day of the Anzac Centenary commemorations, in which we remember the original Anzacs and the freedoms for which they fought.

It also marks 103 years since our Anzacs first landed on the beaches at Gallipoli in the First World War, and the Centenary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux.

Throughout April of 1918 Australian and British forces fought tirelessly on the Western Front to recapture the town of Villers-Bretonneux, successfully doing so exactly three years after our diggers first stormed the beaches at Gallipoli. This ongoing battle was costly, with more than a thousand lives lost during throughout the month.

In 2018 we commemorate the Centenary of the Battle of Hamel, Centenary of the Battle of Amiens and the Centenary of the First World War Armistice on November 11 and significant World War II anniversaries - in particular the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic and the 75th Anniversary of the Hellfire Pass and the Thai Burma Railway.

This year also marks 65 years since the Korean War Armistice in which more than 17,000 Australian Diggers served, with 340 killed and more than 1200 wounded.

In May, the 50th Anniversary of the Battles of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral will be remembered for their significance during the Vietnam War.

We remember all Australians who have served and died in all conflicts, wars and operational service.

We reflect on these conflicts, and are reminded of the sacrifice of those who fought, those who supported their efforts back home, and the impacts of war. Each town across the country has its own story and association with war, and today we honour and renew that personal connection.

I too have a strong personal connection to our Anzac legacy. My grandfather Edward John Farrell fought at the Western Front in 1918.

On April 25 I will remember the spirit of Anzac, with its qualities of courage, mateship, endurance and sacrifice, which continue to beat in the hearts of all Australians today.

While the Centenary of Anzac will conclude this year, the Anzac legacy will endure forever. Lest we forget.

Senator Don Farrell, Senator for South Australia.