This is a Holy Day [re. Anzac Day] [25 April 1932]

[Editor: An editorial about Anzac Day, published in The Albany Advertiser, 25 April 1932.]

This is a Holy Day.

To-day is not a holiday. Rather is it a Holy Day, for it is on this day that we remember those, our brothers, who left their fair land of Australia and laid down their lives in far off foreign lands. Not all of them died in the heat of battle. Some died painfully, in hospitals far removed from the battlefields. Some died of sickness in far off corners of the globe. But they all died for the one ideal; that Australia’s honour might be kept clean and her name unsullied among the nations.

This is not a day for hate. Hate is a transient thing, and passes from the mirror of life. Rather is to-day a day of love, for we commemorate the love that is greater than all other human emotions: “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Neither is this a day for mourning. Sadness, yes, for we cannot think of the appalling loss sustained by our young country, in the thousands of young men who did not come back, without poignant sadness. But time heals the more intimate wounds and enables us to think with proud thanksgiving of the Elder Brethren.

With proud thanksgiving! Yes, there is cause for pride, in that our young country heard the call to arms and was not neglectful in its response. Thanksgiving for the great sacrifice that they made.

It is natural, on this day, that we should think first of Gallipoli, where the sons of Australia wrote that most glorious page of history. It was there that the word Anzac was coined and given its great significance. Gallipoli stands out in bold relief among the great landmarks of the War. There had been nothing like it before. There was little to be compared with it afterwards. But we must remember that Anzac Day is also the day of remembrance for all the Australians who died in the war. A score of names leap to the mind of places where the Anzacs up held the proud tradition of Gallipoli, Palestine, with its ancient battle fields, France and Belgium, with the Somme, Bullecourt, Paschendaele, Posieres and the others that are so familiar. Anzacs are buried there, and we remember them to-day equally with the Anzacs who sleep at Gallipoli.

Let us also spare a thought to-day for the Australia that mothered the Anzacs and made them what they were. Let us decide whether Australia is being treated as it should be, in fairness to those who loved their country well enough to die for it. Can we truthfully say it is? Can we point to sacrifices that we have made to maintain Australia as a land fit for the sons of heroes? If we can our trust has been well observed, and we can participate in services of proud thanksgiving to-day with consciences that are clear.

The Albany Advertiser (Albany, WA), Monday 25 April 1932, page 2

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