“The Coronavirus has changed our world,” Humanities Teacher Stuart Daly said.
“Life will return to normal, but many things have been impacted upon. Gatherings with friends, trips to the cinema, family holidays – all have been temporarily placed on hold.
“These are simple things that we may have taken for granted, but only when they are taken away from us do we realise the irreplaceable part they play in our everyday lives. Yes, they are simple things, but more importantly, they are cherished.
“The peace and stability of our lives was hard-fought and won by Australian military personnel. Every year we commemorate their sacrifices on 25 April. But not this year.
“With strict social distancing and the banning of social gatherings, ANZAC Day celebrations will not take place. There will be no Dawn Service. There will be no Two-Up played in pubs throughout the country. There will be no ANZAC Day marches.
“For this reason, never before has it been so important for us to commemorate the sacrifices made by Australian soldiers and military personnel. This holds true for not only the Gallipoli Campaign, where the ANZAC legend was forged on the beaches of the Gallipoli Peninsula, but for all of Australia’s military engagements.
“We must not only commemorate the sacrifices made by soldiers, but also the doctors and nurses who have tended to our wounded. They are often the unsung heroes of battlefields.
“From stretcher bearers such as Simpson and his Donkey to our current frontline medical staff combatting the Coronavirus, it is important we remember.”
The commemoration included articles written by Principal Shauna Colnan, Teacher Stuart Daly, and Year 10 students Eleanor, James, Kyliric, and Madiba.
“Here at IGS and across the nation, ANZAC Day is about taking time to stop and commemorate the sad stories of loss, to contemplate individual courage against adversity, to meditate upon the heartbreak of war, to think of others, and finally to play our part, no matter how small, to develop a much needed vision of peace for us all,” IGS Principal Shauna Colnan said.
“It seems to me that after more than 100 years, it’s the bravery and the integrity of Australian and New Zealand soldiers and all soldiers of the Great War, in the face of the tragic circumstances in which they found themselves, that inspires and astonishes us still.”
During the online commemorations, Tutors showed a moving montage of The Last Post.
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.
The fourth verse of Laurence Binyon’s 1914 poem For the Fallen is known as the Ode of Remembrance.
Commemorating World War I (WWI) is more important in these times than ever before. This is, of course, partly due to the fact that this year it can’t be done formally. The ANZAC Day march won’t pass through our streets, and no dawn service will be held. However, this doesn’t mean that the day is ignored. After all, the phrase repeated on the day is “lest we forget”.
As we gather on our computer screens today, Australians need to come together, pause and remember what happened years ago. Yes, the Anzac Day ceremonies are cancelled this year because of the outbreak of COVID -19, yet that doesn’t mean we still can’t commemorate and acknowledge WWI and the people – OUR people – who went and fought for us and our country. It is so very important that we still remember this war and how it helped shape our society today and how it impacted on our aspects in life in good and bad.
The events of WWl were atrocious and millions of people died. Of those, over 400,000 of them were brave Australians who died trying to defend our country. It is important that we commemorate all the brave people who died in war each year so that their memories do not go forgotten. It is important that we have this constant reminder of the atrocities that happened so that history doesn’t repeat itself. If we don’t commemorate WWl every year then eventually people will forget about it and all of the efforts of those courageous men will be forgotten.
The ANZACs were dealt some of the toughest battles throughout WWl. Many of our ANZACs fought through almost certain death, and this is what garnered them global respect. They fought through this because they thought that it was the best way to preserve and enhance Australia. As someone who considers themselves Australian and bears the honour associated with it, you would agree these honours are bestowed upon you because of the courage and sacrifice of the ANZACs.