TAMWORTH turned out in force to remember the cruel war years of 1914-1918 yesterday, marking the beginning of four years of major remembrance services.
The Anzac Park Gates were the scene of a sombre and moving service as more than 200 people from the community paid tribute to those who served and gave their lives in World War I.
Tamworth RSL Sub-branch president Bob Chapman gave the commemorative address, reminding those in attendance how harsh the war years were on the young nation of Australia.
Mr Chapman said the service was about celebrating the spirit of our nation and honouring those who lost their lives for the dream that we could live in peace, harmony and prosperity.
“On August 4, 1914, Britain entered the war against the central powers of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the German and Ottoman empires and the following day Australia pledged
support,” he said. “What followed was four years of the most inhumane war that the world had ever experienced. Men and women were transformed by the callous, daily routine of war and war became part of the human condition and the world changed forever.”
Mr Chapman said this was an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of the nation, mourn the deaths of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and offer thanks for those who made it home to their families.
“We are here, not to glorify war, as there is no glory in death and mud and blood,” he said.
The sacrifice made by Australia, a nation then of less than five million people, was massive with more than 61,000 dying and more than 150,000 wounded by the end of the four-year war.
Tamworth’s focus is not just on Anzac Day, 2015, but will mark many battles and occasions over the next four years with appropriate commemorations.