Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Westbury Anzac Service

 The last few days have been quite wet and rainy but as Flynn and I watched the sun rise today, we knew it was going to be a gloriously sunny day, so fitting to remember show our gratitude for all servicemen past and present who sacrificed the ultimate to keep our country free and unique.

We headed down to the village green in Westbury, just  a few minutes from our house to watch the parade.

Today reminded me of when we visited the war memorial in Canberra in 2009 on a family holiday. The same feelings of gratitude and awe surfaced today as I pondered the sacrifices made for each one of us.

Many of the school students from Westbury PS went in the march, and Sarra, Hallie and Oliver were part of that.

Simon, Jont, Flynn and I watched from the footpath.

until Jonty decided that the drain in the road was more interesting!!!

Today's service held special significance for us as Sarra and fellow grade 6 student Corey, were both doing speeches for the service. But what was extra special was that Sarra was able to proudly wear her great-grandfather's medals. He served on the HMAS Napier during WW II which saw battle right through the Mediterranean.

Pop Lanham received a medal for service in North Africa, Burma, the Pacific, and Tobruk, being one of the heroic party's that became known as the Rats of Tobruk. She has worn them once before, but she was a bit younger and I don't think she understood the significance of them back then.

Anzac Day gets me the best of times but to see Pop's great-granddaughter wearing his medals so heroically earned, so much sacrifice and hardships over the years he was at war and the years once he returned home as he fought many a post-traumatic demon, made me cry for what he did to earn freedom not only for his great-granddaughter but for countless people he would never meet.

Sarra also has the privilege of having her other great-grandfather, Harry Triffitt also serve in WW II in the army. He was shot in the stomach in Papua New Guinea and lay all night in a hole waiting to be rescued.

To think about his courage is overwhelming. I don't know where to begin to thank him and Pop Lanham for all they did, (I wish they were both still here) for all that every soldier has done and continues to do for us, to ensure we continue to live in this amazing 'lucky country' of ours. We are truly blessed.

I have included a copy of Sarra's speech here for Pop (my Dad) to read. Thanks Dad for bringing the medals out to us. I know Sarra did my Pop proud. She wrote it all by herself without any help from parents or teachers.

Anzac Day 
Good morning everyone, my name is Sarra  Triffitt and I am speaking to you today on behalf of Westbury Primary School. Today I would like to speak to you , on my thoughts and feelings for Anzac Day.

I am here today, not just because I have been asked to speak, but to celebrate the wonderful life we have because of what the soldiers did for us. We are one of the luckiest countries in the world, we are free to be anything we want and do anything we want without being worried. And we should pay our thanks and respects to the soldiers who fought for our freedom.

My great grandfathers on both sides of my family served in the war. One served in the navy on the H.M.A.S Napier and the other fought in the army, both in world war two This is my first Anzac day in Westbury because in the past I have always walked beside my great grandfather in the Deloraine march, and warn my other great grandfathers medals until this year.

I am very thankful for Anzac day because it gives us time to remember what some did for us and to be thankful for our beautiful free country we have because of them. It also gives us time to think about the things the had to do and go through, to not only to protect their families, but to protect a nation.

When I here the words Anzac day, the first things that comes to mind are Kokoda track and Gallipoli. but when I really think about Anzac day, I think of it as a day to remember all soldiers and what they had to, also a day to celebrate our freedom and to thank the Troops for their hard work and sacrifices .

While we are here at this at this very moment, soldiers over seas would be having little memorial services, but they can’t go home to their families and talk about their day - they are still fighting.  We are thanking them as well as the soldiers in the past. Their services may not be as organized or as formal as ours but still mean the same thing, thank you.


The Kings said...

WOW! Awesome speech Sarra!

poppy steve said...

so proud of you sarra. you brought a tear to my dad would of been proud poppy steve xx.