Today Australia celebrated the valiant young men of one hundred years ago. The ANZAC tradition of remembering the fallen in the words of “Lest We Forget” is truly an engraved part of our Australian identity. Those men and women were heroes, legends of their time, many of whom lost their lives in the quest for peace.
One hundred years on, with the largest crowds ever in attendance, it’s been a day of remembering and reflection; for some their memories are awash with tears, for others too young to understand the symbolism of a dawn service with its parades, speeches and ceremonies, it is nonetheless a time to optimistically look forward. The least we can do is to remember and cherish those who gave the supreme sacrifice, and hope for a better future.
While we pause to remember the terrible price paid in the loss of those young lives a century ago, conspicuous by its absence in today’s ceremony was any reference to the future of those young sons who lie silent in their graves. Can we expect to ever see them again? What about a faith that speaks of being reunited? Have we forgotten the promise of resurrection “at the last day”?
Human life is meaningless without hope. Science tells us that our only hope is to migrate to another solar system in another galaxy before our sun and earth disappear in a fiery blast. Jesus, on the other hand, taught that our lives on this earth is just the beginning, and that a day is coming when everyone who has ever lived, both good and bad, will be resurrected back to life.
The grief and sense of loss in remembering and celebrating the ANZAC tradition might also be better facilitated and educated to also include reference to the promise of the resurrection of all people. In the words of Jesus our Creator:
“Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”
(John 5:28-29 ESV)
While the ANZAC spirit will surely live on in future generations, may those who remember also know and cherish that our fallen sons will one day rise again. It is a sure hope. It will happen as surely as the rising of tomorrow’s sun.
Tell this hope to our children. Proclaim it in the streets. Our ANZACS will rise again! Oh, what consolation, what joy, what hope!
By John Klassek