Anzac sacrifice not forgotten during pandemic

Retired Lance Corporal David Scott played The Last Post at his Perth retirement village.
Retired Lance Corporal David Scott played The Last Post at his Perth retirement village.

War is the only thing that rivals the unknown destructive power of a pandemic.

The eventual destructive scale of a war or pandemic is unknown from the outset, but costly it will be.

Those catastrophic events operate on timelines that do not kindly fit with our schedule.

What they also provide is the constant reminder of the fragility of life and how our everyday lives can be turned upside down in an instant.

For those who faced the armed threat brought on by war, many would never return home.

For the grieving families and communities, the loss was real, visceral and lasting.

For those who survived their service for country, the experience changed the lives of many and had lasting impacts on the community.

The very real and serious threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic has behaved in a similar manner.

Ruthless and relentless, the virus carved its way around the globe and into our lives, bringing with it a great deal of uncertainty and fear.

That impact is no less than what the veteran community endured during service to the nation.

Both crises encouraged our resilience and courage to shine through.

When it came to reflecting on the sacrifice by our service men and women, what resulted last year was a very different Anzac Day where innovative drive-way services were embraced by thousands of people around the country.

People showed that a pandemic would not deny them a chance to reflect on those who have served, as well as recognise and thank serving members of the Australian Defence Force.

Now thanks to coronavirus vaccines, the Australian community has begun to find its way forward and this year many Anzac Day events will go ahead, albeit with capped crowds and COVID-safe measures.

While the pandemic has changed the way we live our lives, and for the time being, the way we are able to come together, we have already shown it will not stop us from pausing to remember.

Despite the pandemic, let's ensure again that this Anzac Day, the service and sacrifice of Australia's service men and women will not be forgotten.

  • Gavin Briggs, Course Coordinator - Graduate Program in International Relations and National Security, Curtin University