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ANZAC Day 2017

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ANZAC Speech 2017

Good Morning Ladies ‘Gentlemen and boys and girls. We are gathered here today to honour the memory of those gallant men and women who gave their all for their country. As we know this tradition started when those brave men went ashore at Gallipoli and lost their lives for this great country and By you being here today I believe there is no doubt in your minds and hearts that you find this day most significant as do other cities and towns around Australia and New Zealand... Ceremonies like today are a permanent reminder of what the ANZAC’s thought of our wonderful countries.

Sometimes the term ANZAC has been misunderstood. It is not a place; it is not a ceremony or a parade. The term ANZAC comes from the words Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. This term ANZAC transcends the physical meaning to become a spirit/an inspiration that embodies the qualities of courage, sacrifice.

These days we do not glorify war. All we ask is the simple recognition of the sacrifice, commitment and unselfish devotion by those men and women who served so valiantly for their country for what they believed in, and in so doing knowingly went to their deaths. We pause today to acknowledge all current and former members of our defence forces. These women and men who represent our country on a daily basis. No Australian is left untouched when a member of our defence force is killed in action. It is difficult to understand the grief associated with the loss at war of a parent, child, or sibling, so let us ensure that we remember the families.

Let us not forget that even in these modern times 2011 to be precise, where we as a nation lost 11 soldiers and the wounding of a further 50 in Afghanistan alone. In 2012 we lost a young man from Gawler Scot Smith who gave his life for his country. This young man (Scotty) to his grandma was born at the old Hutchinson Hospital and was bought up in the Barossa Area what he did was certainly in the ANZAC tradition. We have seen our personnel serve in Australia and overseas carrying the spirit of ANZAC.

We remember our past veterans and so we should, but we must not forget today’s veterans’ the young men and women who are returning from duty from places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places we sometimes do not know about. ANZAC day is a day to remember all women and men of the Australian Defence Force, regardless of where and when they served. ANZAC day is indelibly recorded in our history and identity. We have a sacred trust to remain accountable to its legacy.

We keep faith with ANZAC through the everyday things that we do, when we build our lives, home and communities. In our willingness to preserve through misfortune and adversity. In our capacity to reach out when floodwaters rise and fires ravage. In our remembrance of each other. These too are thanks to the Men and Women who lay downs their lives for their country on our behalf.

The fundamental purpose of today has been, and should continue to be, to pay homage to our veterans and those who gave their lives. In doing so, we ensure a recognition by our youth that peace and freedom have always required a sacrifice in the past. So as we reflect today, on what has been done please as the silent majority do not allow the vocal minority to change this wonderful country and please stand fast in our everlasting traditions.

That you all for being here today,

Paul Little


2017 ANZAC Day Chaplain Address

These words are the final instructions from Paul – a leader to the first generation of Christians – they come at the end of a 6 chapter letter to the churches of Ephesus (now modern Turkey) nearly 2,000 years ago.

Ephesians 6:10-13

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Be strong in the Lord – put on the full armour or God. In short; be prepared for battle – the advice is given. But these words weren’t written to soldiers or warriors. They were written to regular folk; men, women, husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, daughters, sons, workers and employers. He’s not calling on these families and workers to take up arms and go to battle… Paul is talking about regular life. He’s talking about relationships and how to get along in a community made up of people from different ethnic backgrounds, different religions; that has differing opinions, values and beliefs – a community not unlike ours actually. There is no doubt that sometimes life can feel like a battle ground. But the message is clear from Paul: There is evil in this world – and we must stand against it. But… “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against… powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

If we destroy an individual or group who oppose the good but do nothing to combat the ideas and beliefs that prompt their actions… we will achieve nothing.

So how is it that we are called to fight against these oppressive forces of evil at work in our world? Paul continues in his letter:

Ephesians 6:14-17

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Friends, we are not called to go into the world seeking to fight enemies with aggression, judgment and hate. But to overcome evil with truth, righteousness, peace and faith; these are of God.

Today we remember those who willingly sacrificed their lives for peace.

Let us honour them by enjoying that peace that comes at so great a cost – not seeking to make war among ourselves over petty differences or by making villains of those we disagree with. Let us champion God’s way, exemplified by Jesus Christ – who shared at table with those he disagreed with, made friends with sinners and died to unite us all to God and to each other in a unity of love.

Rev’d David MacGillivray


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