Today is ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) day in Australia and New Zealand, a day to honour the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women throughout the history of our nations.
Though Australia and New Zealand are separate countries, we are united by our shared history of service in times of war.
There will be many and more blog posts written today about the significance of ANZAC day and its importance to the Australian national character.
This isn’t one of them: I’m not going to write a long account of Australian military history and the contributions we have made to conflicts around the world.
Instead, I’m going to offer this, as an exemplification of the ANZAC spirit, and what it means when we talk about “mateship” (a typically Australian word, of course):
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, 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.