Freedom – the power or right to act, think or speak as one wants.
Or write as one wants.
Two days ago, Australia commemorated Anzac Day (April 25th), a day which marks the anniversary of Australia and New Zealand’s first military action in the First World War. It is a day where we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in war so that we, as a nation, can live as free people.
This year, I spent Anzac Day sailing on beautiful Sydney Harbour, reflecting on how lucky I am that I live in a country where I can freely express myself, my thoughts and my ideas through my writing without fear of recrimination or retribution. Not all are this lucky.
For a time while out on the water I fell silent, with only the whisper of breeze and lap of waves against boat to accompany my thoughts – thoughts of scared young Australians, many of them teenagers, heading off to a war raging on the other side of the world; thoughts of these same diggers, as we call them, fighting so that generations to come may continue to enjoy the freedoms we do.
To say I am grateful is an understatement.
More than 60,000 Australians died in the First World War alone from a population at the time of fewer than five million.
As the last line of the Ode reads:
“We will remember them.”