Remembrance, Sacrifice and Tragedy in April
April marks two significant events - Good Friday and Anzac Day.
For some peopoe they may represent little more than an opportunity for a few days welcome break from work and a chance for a holiday before the last of the autumn weather disappears. For our children, it means the excitement of the Easter bunny and gifts of eggs and other chocolate goodies. For others, these events have important religious and historical meaning. Both days are surrounded by notions of courage, suffering and preparedness to die for ideals and beliefs.
In our modern society with all of its comforts and opportunities, it can be hard for most of us to imagine giving up our lives for a belief and sacrificing for others. The legacy of the men and women of the Anzac tradition have lessons for all of us. Although church attendance continues to decline, we see growing numbers of young people attending the dawn service at the Shrine of Remembrance and the Anzac Day march. Perhaps this reflects the reality that since the Vietnam War we have had many more Australian soldiers fighting in far away places and risking their lives for their country.
Many Australian families have now experienced the injury or death of a loved one who has not returned from Iraq or Afghanistan. We have seen the terrible impact of war on the Anzacs, the soldiers in the 2nd world war, Korea, Vietnam and other places. Many of our young men and women veterans hae suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and are still trying to recover and return to a normal life. Some will never be the same.
April has been a month of tragedy and violent acts. In recent weeks we have been shocked at the violence we have seen close to our shores with the New Zealand mosque massacres and just a few days ago, another terrible series of attacks in churches in Sri Lanka. It is very challenging to be confronted with such shocking acts of hatred and violence and the destruction of so many lives and the impact on individuals, families and communities.
At times like these, it can seem that the world is a very frightening place and our sense of safety and security can be shaken. We can feel empathy for the victims and their families as we draw our loved ones close and give thanks that they are safe. This is an opportunity for us to think about how lucky we are and to give thanks for what we have. It is a time to reflect on how we want to be in our daily lives and the type of community we want for ourselves and others. As we spend time with our own families and friends, we can be mindful that there are many people in our community who do not have families to share this time with and may feel alone during this holiday period.
If the events of the last month have raised issues for you, you may wish to think about having some counselling to talk about these. I would be happy to assist, so dont hesitate to give me a call on 0438 855328.