There are a number of things we associate with the word 100. Every Australia Day, we gather together to listen to Triple J’s Hottest 100. But on April 25th, we will gather for a much more important reason, to acknowledge the sacrifice that brave young men made 100 years ago. They were nervous and unsure of what really lay ahead. Most of them had rushed to enlist, optimistic that they would undergo a journey that would forge life long bonds. Patriotic for their land and protective of their loved ones, they didn’t think twice before giving their youth to the Australian Army. It soon became apparent that this was not the adventure that it was thought to be. Manhood was thrust upon them; barely able to grow a beard they were armed, trained and shipped off to Gallipoli. Many had left loved ones behind, never to be seen again.
They yearned to be back home, in the comfort of their beds. They prayed that they would make it through this life-shattering event so they too could start a family of their own. To make a generation proud of the sacrifices made for their freedom. They hoped to be back in school, in the safety of the classroom, they longed to be back on the Cricket pitch leading their team to glory. They wished and they prayed to be anywhere but ANZAC cove.
Families would be torn apart, hearts would be broken, loved ones to be left waiting, wondering, yearning. Those that survived were never the same, they left home with one brother, and returned home with many. A friendship that would bind for the rest of their lives, sacrifices made for the good of the country, a legend created for the rest of time.
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.