An inspiring legend, says Reece Hartveld

WINGHAM High School captain, Reece Hartveld spoke of the significance of the Gallipoli landing and the Anzac legend at Wingham’s main commemoration service last week.

“The birthplace of the Anzac legend, the infamous Gallipoli beaches and ridges, a place where many lost their lives in a campaign which resulted in futility and eventual retreat, but also a place where Australians and New Zealanders alike were able create a legacy for themselves with their unyeilding determination and commitment to a just cause.

“And it is this spirit which should not be soley linked to Gallipoli, but rather any men and women who have laid down their own lifes for the sake of others, which to me, is the essence of Anzac Day – to remember and respect those who came to the aid of others in times of need during any conflict, be it World War I to Afghanistan.

“The Anzac legend is not necessarily one particular thing, but rather a collective group of personal qualities such as courage and selflessness which began with the Australian’s and New Zealanders at Gallipoli.

“Now when asked of the significance of the Gallipoli landing, I did not think of it as a show of Australia’s military strength and fighting power, but rather its strength in the face of diversity and danger, and the mateship and comradery which developed as a result of this.

“It must be remembered that all of those who were part of World War I were volunteers, and went to preserve and defend a basis for life as we know it for other people.

“Farmers, office workers, tradesmen to professionals, people who were the same age as me if not a little older, did not come home, or were in such a state that they were reliant on others to care for them.

“The fact that they placed any future hopes of building a life for themselves as barter for the freedom and lives of others is something which lies at the heart of the Anzac legend.

“The fact that people at such a young age were making such a huge decision and sacrifice is something all young people here today should reflect on.

“So even as we approach the 100th anniversary of the landing, we may still remember those Australian men and women who have sacrificed themselves throughout the course of our short history, and to hopefully take some of those qualities which they shown so readily away with us this morning.”

Wingham High captain, Reece Hartveld.

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