Anzac Day 2022: Courage and sacrifice remembered around the Murraylands
Services in Murray Bridge and at Tailem Bend, Mypolonga, Wellington and Rockleigh have commemorated Australians' wartime sacrifices.
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More than 1000 people have gathered to remember Australian sacrifices in times of war at an Anzac Day dawn service in Murray Bridge.
Kookaburras cackled in the darkness as Murray Bridge RSL president Rod Harris led the short service at the city’s war memorial.
He drew special attention this year to the 80th anniversary of the deadliest foreign attack in Australia’s modern history: the bombing of Darwin.
About 250 people are estimated to have died in the air raid by Imperial Japan.
It would have been extremely frightening, Mayor Brenton Lewis said at Monday’s service.
We all owed a debt of gratitude to the Australians, Americans and others who fought to protect our soil at the time.
A Unity College student read a poem dating back to the time, A Brown Slouch Hat: “the symbol of our nation, the land of liberty”.
Wreaths were laid, and the Last Post played by a saxophonist from Murray Bridge Community Concert Band.
RSL chaplain Darren Lovell captured the mood of the sombre morning.
“Today we do not honour war, because war in itself is never to be honoured,” he said.
“War is destructive: it damages lives, communities and nations.
“War is a mad, brutal and awful struggle distinguished only by an unbelievable waste of human life.
“We do not gather here today to honour war; we gather here today to honour those who have shown such courage, beyond what I can even begin to imagine, courage that has come at a cost.”
Watch a replay of Murray Bridge’s service: www.facebook.com/newsmurraybridge.
Bugle calls echo around the Murraylands
Dawn services were also held at Tailem Bend, Wellington and – in a first – at Rockleigh on Monday morning.
The Rockleigh Progress Association hopes to establish a memorial there in time.
Services were also held on Sunday at the cemetery on Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge, and at Mypolonga RSL.
The 50-strong crowd who gathered there were able to see a new display on the Mypolonga RSL hall’s walls: metal silhouettes of the men and vehicles of Australia’s army, navy and air force.
The display was funded by the federal government’s Saluting Their Service program for the sub-branch’s centenary, which will be celebrated at a dinner next month.
“This project is a wonderful way for us to commemorate and reflect on the sacrifice of all those who have served from our communities,” Liberal federal MP Tony Pasin said when the funding was announced in January.
“Australia owes an enormous debt of gratitude to all those Australians who have served our nation, defending our freedoms, values and way of life.
“This funding is just one of the many ways we honour that debt.”