Lest We Forget

Lest we forget. These words encapsulate one of our most significant national sentiments. For over a century now, they have been the simple, but profound expression of our appreciation and thankfulness for those Australians who have died in the pursuit of freedom and peace in the world.

More than any other expression, ‘Lest we forget’ is our national reminder about the debt we owe the men and women who have given their lives in the defence of freedom. They have a sacred meaning.

It is totally inappropriate that someone would appropriate these words for a political campaign. At best, it displays a reckless indifference to the sacrifices of tens of thousands of Australians and their families; at worst, it was a deliberate affront to our deeply held values.

Regrettably, an offensive tweet from an ABC presenter wasn’t the only disgusting event on Anzac Day. An activist in Adelaide used the Commemorative Service for political purposes, as did another in Sydney. And closer to home, someone vandalised the War Memorial at Warrandyte. Thankfully, a number of volunteers worked to clean the offensive graffiti and repaint the lettering in time for the Anzac Day service which is a testament to the local Warrandyte community.

These activists, who abuse the freedoms that the ANZACs fought for, deserve the condemnation they have received. Perhaps the best response however, was the respectful presence of hundreds of thousands of Australians at services right across this nation – Australians, who in their quiet way, commemorated the sacrifices made by their fellow men and women.