They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
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.
(Laurence Binyon, For the Fallen, 1914)
Today we remember the fighters. They are you and they are me. They are the Anzacs who fought with great courage, resolve and commitment.
On 25th April 1915, 16,000 troops surged ashore at the foot of rugged cliffs on the Turkish peninsula, intending to give allied forces shipping access to the Black Sea, bring help to Russia, and ultimately capture Istanbul. An eight-month-long campaign ensued.
From a population of less than five million people, 61,513 Australians were killed in the First World War, and 152,000 more were wounded (http://www.awm.gov.au). That represented over 1%, or 1 in 100 people, wiped out. What a valiant group of men and women who fought for freedom and, without doubt or hesitation, for the nobility of their cause.
Giving thanks for their sacrifice, we honour our Anzacs and those who have given of themselves in war and peace keeping efforts. Not only do we remember them, but we endeavour to live our lives in a manner worthy of their sacrifice.
As I think of my readers, I know that many of you are fighting your own battles, battles not unlike the Anzac soldier. It may not be a battle you have created, yet it is a battle you must dig deep to keep fighting for a better tomorrow.
Today, be inspired by the courage, resolve, and commitment that those Anzac soldiers embodied. The Anzac spirit teaches us to resist apathy and care about life and living. It teaches us commitment to the freedom we seek.
The Anzacs were relentless to make this world a better place. Faith, bravery, and love do not only look for the best, they make things better.
What is your battle? Are you fighting for your marriage, children, health, finances, job? Are you fighting anger, depression, anxiety, or loneliness?
Your battle is worth the fighting. Your fight makes a difference. You are not alone.
Not even the Anzacs went it alone. The Anzacs relied on each other for life and death, it was a powerful mateship in the face of tough times. We need each other, we need mates who have each others’ backs.
Greater still, the beauty of a relationship with God is that He promises to be “a very present help in time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Maybe today your first act of courage is to go to God as your helper. I can’t imagine battling my current health challenge without His very present help.
God is the one who goes with you and will not leave you. Even though you walk through a dark valley, fear no evil, He is with you. God is for you, not against you. You can trust God. He is your defense and your salvation. God will strengthen you, help you, and uphold you by His right hand. God will not fail you.