Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O'Brien today encouraged everyone in Wide Bay to pause and reflect on Anzac Day, to honour the service and sacrifice of all Australian men and women who have served in the defence of our country.
"Anzac Day is a special day to pay tribute to the contribution of all defence personnel, in the Army, Navy and Air Force, to ensure their service is never forgotten," Mr O'Brien said.
"We remember with gratitude the sacrifices made by our first Anzacs, as well as the efforts of service men and women in the time since then, and by our current Australian Defence personnel who continue to serve our country, risking their lives to keep Australia safe and secure peace and freedom around the world.
"More than 50,000 Australians are estimated to have fought in the Gallipoli campaign, where some 8,700 lost their lives and almost 18,000 were wounded. Our nation owes an enormous debt to these Australians, whose courage, determination and bravery have become part of the Australian way.
"Anzac Day commemorations also help younger Australians to gain a deeper appreciation of our wartime history, and the role that war has played in shaping our nation. I encourage all young Australians to learn the Anzac story and pass it onto to future generations."
In 2018, we continue to mark the centenary of the First World War, in particular the series of battles along the Western Front that turned the tide of war in favour of the Allies. The Battles of Hebuterne, Dernancourt, Morlancourt, the First and Second Battles of Villers-Bretonneux, and Hazebrouck were vital to halting the German Spring Offensive in March and April 1918. Later the Australians, under the leadership of General Sir John Monash, distinguished themselves in battles at Hamel, Amiens, Mont St. Quentin and Peronne, contributing significantly to the Allied victory.
This year we commemorate the 75th anniversary of some significant events in the Second World War. The final beachhead battles at Buna and Sanananda, the Battle of the Bismarck Sea and the battles of Wau, Lae, Finschhafen and Sattelberg were important Australian victories, pushing the Japanese ever further from the Australian mainland.
50 years have passed since some of the Vietnam War's major battles. The Tet Offensive, launched in early 1968 by the Viet Cong, marked a significant escalation in the scale and intensity of the Vietnam War.
Australian soldiers fought difficult battles at Baria and Bien Hoa during Tet and in May and June 1968 at Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral.
"I encourage everyone in Wide Bay to attend a service on Anzac Day or take time to pause, reflect and remember those who are serving, have served and those who have given their lives for our country."
Lest We Forget
Australians are invited to share how they mark Anzac Day on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AnzacCentenary, or on twitter.com/DVAAUS with #AnzacDay.
Further information about Anzac Day and the Anzac Centenary can be found on the Anzac Centenary website at anzaccentenary.gov.au and at anzacportal.gov.au.
Support for Veterans:
• Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) — 1800 011 046
• VVCS can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for support and free and confidential counselling. If you would like to connect to VVCS while overseas please call +61 8 8241 4546 (please note that standard international call costs will apply).
• Department of Veterans' Affairs At-Ease mental health web portal — at-ease.dva.gov.au/