Anzac tradition grows

Eaglehawk ceremony popular

AS EACH year passes Anzac Day grows in significance, says navy commander Joshua Wilson.

Commander Wilson, who was born and raised in Bendigo, returned to his home town on Friday to deliver an address at an Anzac service in Eaglehawk. 

He said he remembered attending ceremonies as a child, and said what stuck in his mind was how small and intimate they were. 

"We have another generation of veterans coming in," he said.  

"A lot of people who have gone off and served (recently have) really invigorated (the meaning of Anzac) and given it a lot more relevance.

"If I had one hope for Anzac Day it would be that in remembering we would step away from the jingoism and a blinked view of the past, and really ponder what has been sacrificed in our name and then that of our country."

More than 200 people attended the service at Eaglehawk, with many young people turning out to pay their respects. 

Commander Wilson was accompanied by his wife Sara and children Angus, 3, and Fergus, eight months. 

During his address, Commander Wilson spoke about Corporal Richard Atkinson - an Australian who lost his life overseas and the meaning of sacrifice. 

"He was 22 years old and ironically the 22nd Australian servicemen killed in Afghanistan," he said. 

"But more than a number he was a son, he was a brother, he was a finance and he was a friend.

We have another generation of veterans coming in. - Joshua Wilson

"His loss left a hole in the lives of all those he touched and continues to do so.

"He had a future, he had plans, he had dreams, of marriage, of children - the things that I was realising and many of us take for granted.

"These were the sacrifices that are made.

"This man and ones like him across the generation."

Commander Wilson said many things had changed since the landing of soldiers Gallipoli but still the same was an "enduring truth". 

"Nations will rise and fall," he said.

"Politics will be politics.

"But the world is made up of people.

"People like you and me, who love, laugh, dream and hope.

"And it is the remembrance of these people that should draw us together today." 

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