At the end of The Great War, where our youth, our brightest, and best went to stand for their country, and died in...

At the end of The Great War, where our youth, our brightest, and best went to stand for their country, and died in their thousands, the cry amongst the world leaders was 'Never Again!'

And yet it did.

And again our youth - the brightest and best - went out to fight, and died in the widest-reaching conflict in our history.

And again, and again, in dozens of smaller wars and conflicts. Out they go, to serve, and to die, and why? To protect. Be it peacekeeping in the Balkans, police action in South East Asia, Search and Rescue, fighting against a mighty dictator bent on world domination, or even the current ambiguous actions - they go and serve, trusting their leaders that what they do is to protect. Be it our own country or the people of another.

And some pay the ultimate sacrifice. And many more return with bodies and minds and souls shattered. 

And today, it is them - not the leaders sent them - who we remember. It is they who we honour, not the wars. It is they, and their brave and honourable opponents from that first Great War, which tested and forged in fire and blood the souls of three nations, who we remember. Three nations that remain bonded by our shared loss, and who all stand stronger by our shared history. We might not always agree - but we three nations - Turkey, New Zealand, and Australia -  know that we share a bond that rises above our disagreements. A bond of shared loss, blood, and honour.

To the Turks and the ANZACs, we raise a salute - not to celebrate - but to remember with honour the fallen and those who survived to tell the stories of their brave and honourable foes.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

And never forget.
#anzac #anzacday

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