Why ANZAC day is so important... - Amanda Foy

Why ANZAC day is so important…

It’s been months since I wrote a blog post…so much has happened since November last year and “But Why” has been profoundly neglected.  Today though, after a weekend ‘off’ with Easter, I need to put some words down on the screen to get them out of my head about ANZAC day, which has fallen on Easter Monday this year.  The time to give thanks on the Christian Calendar – well honestly, it’s a perfect day to also give thanks to the legend that is the ANZAC.

So, if you will stick with me, I’m just going to talk out aloud for a sec…

Today is a really hard day to get through without emotion welling for me. Emotion that tinkers on the point of blubbering like a git because I just want ‘them’ to know how much their sacrifice means to me personally.

ANZAC day, the revisiting the stories on the news, the new stories that come about, the new battles, what our young men did all those years ago that set the foundations for an iconic legend…all the families since and the suffering, the sacrifices. 

The SAS officer just awarded the VC, he has a wife and babies, he does his job, and so does his wife and kids. 

It’s so hard to stand there and know what to say.  There is so much I want to say, so much I want to convey, but it’s not about me, it’s all about them…the men and women who have put our nation first above everything else in their life.

I get it; it takes special people to do what you do, and the demons that you get to sleep with when you have to come home and be the husband, wife, dad or mum.

You are amazing.

My Grandad Bronson was amazing. He served in WWII in the Middle East, he hardly ever spoke of his time there. I know three stories from his time away.  What did he see, what did he experience, how much did that affect his life as a husband and father? When I was little, his day was spent quietly potting up orchids with a tall-ie (large bottle of beer) on the go from 10am in the morning – silently in his glass house.  He used to sit and watch Faulty Towers and laugh his chuckling laugh.  Never raucous, never in your face. Just chuckle.

He used to tell me to make sure I had a laugh everyday because it would help me through my life.  He was a quiet man who never rose his voice, never said a bad word about anyone.  Whether that was just with me, his eldest grandchild and eldest grandaughter, I’m not sure.

Today, I think of him the most. No matter what he saw or dealt with, and I know two of the three stories were pretty horrific, he was a gentle, quiet man with giant hands and a limp as he walked from where he’d fallen in a trench.  (He told me he fell off a ladder, but I found his war diary and it was from when he was away). The man who taught me how to lick my plate at the end of a meal that his second wife Amy had cooked because it was so yummy….today, more than any other day, I miss you.  Today as an adult woman with two sons of my own, I miss you.

I never got the opportunity to hold his hand, look in his eyes and say thank you for being my Grandad, that just wasn’t how our relationship worked.

So today, I will honour him with all of the great memories I have of time with him as a child.  Today I too honour my friends Rachel and her husband Nick and Thea and her husband Matt.  Two amazing women with husbands serving our nation….and then their children.

I know that these typed words are completely inadequate to convey what I really feel and want to say… hopefully THANK YOU x 100,000,000,000 will cover it.

2 Comments

  1. Your granddad sounded like a wonderful man. My granddad was the same. Just quiet, gentle, but as an adult you wished as a child to know more of his life.
    What did they see? How can we show our gratitude? By making sure their sacrifices were never in vain, by keeping our country free and always, always, always saying thank you to them, not just on Anzac Day but every time we meet and find out they have served.
    Easter and Anzac day are very closely tied together, as someone lay down their life to give us freedom.
    Thank you Amanda for sharing your heart.
    With me it’s bagpipes and then I’m bawling.

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks Amanda, ANZAC Day has always been a special day to my family also. Our children have attended the march every year as a little tradition we started when our first son was born. That first son is now with the RAAF in his first year studying in Canberra so a new tradition began this year, attending the dawn service from now on. This some how made me feel closer to him knowing we were doing the same thing at exactly the same time. When the ‘last post’ is played I fight back the tears thinking of the young lives that gave us the privilage of living in this great country. Lest we forget.
    Kind regards, Sue

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