By David Cumin…
Today is ANZAC Day – a time to reflect and remember our brave soldiers, their families, and all those who sacrificed for our safety and freedom. In October, we commemorated the centenary of the Battle of Beersheba, where our ANZACs made a significant contribution to the defeat of the Ottoman forces.
Last week, Israelis remembered the 26,780 fallen soldiers and victims of terror. It is a day when a whole country stands still while a siren rings out across the land and individual pains merge into a national conscious for at least one minute. This day of remembrance always occurs the day before Israeli Independence Day to reinforce the importance of the fallen to present freedoms.
Without the IDF protecting her borders, Israel would no longer be a liberal democratic society just as without the ANZAC troops and our allies, our world might have become a very different place.
The ANZAC contribution to Israel extended beyond the great sacrifices of the mounted horsemen and Maori battalions. Political support from New Zealand for the establishment of a Jewish state in the Jewish indigenous lands was evident as early as 1919 when Prime Minister William Massey championed the cause at the Paris Peace Conference.
We should take a moment today to reflect on how lucky we are to have a solid democracy and to live in a free land because generations before us knew how rare that was and how important is was to fight for. And to commit to standing up for those freedoms around the world is the greatest way to commemorate the fallen.