2014 Anzac Dawn Service in Hervey Bay

Thursday, 24 April 2014

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99-years-ago, thousands of brave young men went ashore on a foreign beach in a far distant land.

The legend of our Anzacs has become a symbol of what we value today as Australians: courage under fire, selflessness and unwavering loyalty, tenacity and mateship. 

On Anzac Day, we stop to remember and reflect on the sacrifice of men and women in times of war and peace.

Veterans of the past proudly display their medals. Soldiers of today boldly wear their uniforms.

Families of veterans, who have passed – and there are many of you here today – honour their memory by wearing medals awarded when the battle was over.

Next year will mark the Centenary of ANZAC, a milestone of special significance to all Australians.

We will remember not only the original ANZACs, but also commemorate 100 years of service by Australian men and women.

8,000 Australians will travel to Gallipoli to attend 100th anniversary commemorations on hallowed ground in 2015.

A ballot process was initiated after the Turkish Government capped attendance, to ensure people would be comfortable and safe at the service.

I am delighted the Hinkler electorate will be represented at Gallipoli in 2015 by the likes of Alf Dennis and Allen Betts.

A Hervey Bay resident, Mr Dennis served in World War Two. His father was one of the original ANZACS and his son served in Vietnam. His wife Mary was also in the Army.

Those of you who applied for the Anzac Day Dawn Service ballot, but didn’t receive a ticket, may consider attending the commemorative service at Lone Pine on August 6.

I don’t need to tell you all that there are many people here today, in Hervey Bay, whose efforts are legendary.

Both during times of war and times of peace. On the battlefields and here at home.

And there are those civilians who have gone to extraordinary lengths to support our returned service men and women.

The ANZAC of the Year Awards recognise the achievements of up to seven Australians who have served their community in a positive, selfless and compassionate manner.

This year, the award was given to just five people. Only one of those was from Queensland.

Far more than a receptionist, Christine Krupa has kept the Hervey Bay RSL Sub-Branch together for 20 years.

Congratulations, Christine! The acknowledgement is very well deserved!

Today, after this very moving service, I will also attend events at the northern end of my electorate in Bundaberg and Burnett Heads. Wreaths will be laid on my behalf at 11 other services across the region.

I must say the attendance here today is inspiring, and a real indication of what we hold dear in Australia.

When I consider that many of our veterans were not much older than my 13-year-old son when they went to war, I struggle to adequately express my gratitude to those who have served our country.

Words will never be enough.

Lest. We. Forget. 

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