Over a hundred years ago, tens of thousands of young men and women went to war in Europe – many did not return, but those that did were all heroes. In the century since, Australia and New Zealand have remembered the Anzac spirit of sacrifice on 25 April. This has become a sacred day to our national memories and shared story. Every year we remember all those wars and campaigns in which we have served and sacrificed – from the beaches of Gallipoli to the deserts of Iraq. Anzac Day is a time to acknowledge the Aboriginal, Torres Straight Islander and Maori peoples who valiantly served our nations in the face of discrimination. We pray for all those lives torn apart by the current conflicts in the world, and we remember all the men and women serving in the Australian and New Zealand Defense Forces. Anzac Day in 2020 will be like no other – the first time in a century where we have been unable to gather as a community at dawn. This weekend is an appropriate moment to reflect on our Anzac spirit in light of so many Australians and New Zealanders who are suffering. At dawn tomorrow you may like to join the national movement of #AnzacAtHome. At 5.55am, head to your gate or driveway with a candle or torch as Australians line the street across the country in silence to recall the Anzac spirit. The Whitefriars community gathers virtually today to celebrate Anzac Day, and you are most welcome to join in with our prayer:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor do the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.