What does ANZAC Day mean to you?

Today you might have assembled at a dawn service or made your way to a cenotaph to pay tribute to the sacrifice Australian and New Zealand soldiers made at Gallipoli in 1915, and in other conflicts across the world since that date.

For a young country, World War I was an important ‘test’ for Australia on the world stage. The task of going and fighting at Gallipoli was one that was met with considerable ardor by young Australian — and New Zealand — men, evidenced by the thousands who enlisted.

When you start reflecting and realising what the men and women who serve your country go through, it’s an occasion that should become more important each year. But Starts at 60 wants to know what ANZAC Day means to you?

When the trumpet plays the ‘Last Post’, when the Ode is read, the quiet contemplation that comes with one minutes’ silence; this is our chance to ponder the ‘spirit’ of the ANZAC. Is it the heart and essence of the nation; the thing that unifies us as all?

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Australian and New Zealand have been involved in a number of armed conflicts since Gallipoli — World War II, Korea, Vietnam — but the consequences of the horror of war are long-lasting, which has led to our involvement in peacekeeping efforts like East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq.

It’s hard not to get a lump in the throat thinking about the great sacrifice so many have made for our freedoms.

How have you seen ANZAC Day commemorations change in your life? Is there anything we should be doing differently to mark the day?