Anzac Day is a time to reflect on the impact of conflict on communities, to remember New Zealand's brave servicemen and women who have fought in conflicts gone by, and to honour our current armed services who do our country proud each day, upholding our values and way of life. Their sacrifice is immense with long hours, precious time spent away from family, injuries sustained and many who tragically never returned.
Their dedication to service is something we should all strive to emulate. We often focus on their contribution in times of war but in reality they do so much more for our communities. They are mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. They’re there when our country needs them – whether that be in the aftermath of the Christchurch Earthquake or the wake of the tragic attacks of March 15, alongside our police force.
My local Mount RSA was built in 1943 from the returned servicemen’s labour along with those who stayed behind. The war generation were the personification of helping a neighbour in need, quietly and in an understated way. Their culture of service, thankfully, pervades our community still.
As we honour this Anzac spirit, more than 100 years after it was forged, we can be proud of those who served then, just as we are proud of those who serve today.