Lest We Forget

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.

Is there a day more solemn or more symbolic of the epitome of what it means to be Australian than ANZAC Day?

Every year the residents here at Holmwood Aged Care hold an ANZAC Day Service, in collaboration with the Healesville Retuned Services League. We honour servicemen and women past and present for their duty and sacrifice. It is a day full of emotion, memories and it means so much to so many.

Our residents take ANZAC Day very seriously. It is very important to them and we held a full service with an Order of Service and Wreath Laying Ceremony. There was also guest speakers, hymns, prayers, a live bugle and piper, reciting of the ode and a memorial wall with hand-knitted poppy’s made by our residents. There were 100 poppy’s for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary.

We have had the privilege to care for so many veterans over the years here at Holmwood Aged Care and continue to do so. Many servicemen and women of our great nation who fought for our freedom in the many wars that history has seen – Army, Navy, Airforce, Nursing Corps, widows, war refugees… so many lives and so many stories have been shared. It is our great honour to hold our annual service with and for them and also those they served beside.

Thank you to Neil Skinner and Bob Burgess, both Vietnam veterans- who conducted our service on behalf of Healesville RSL. Also thank you to our resident, Edgar ‘Wes’ Guy, who laid our wreath this year. Wes was a flight Lieutenant with the 77 squadron of the RAAF and was awarded the Flying Cross for gallantry in Korea 1952. He said he was ‘honoured’ that he was asked to lay the wreath for our service, saying “it was a real honour to have been asked and such a lovely service”.

ANZAC Day is of course about remembering. It is not about the glorification of war but the celebration of peace. After the service residents celebrated together with our favourite annual ‘basket lunch’. Residents put aside the traditional seated lunch and sat together and shared stories, memories and photos of loved ones from their days in service. They played ‘two-up’. It was an opportunity to remember and grieve but to also enjoy treasured memories and heroic deeds of themselves and loved ones.

To Servicemen and Women everywhere, past and present, we thank you for your service, and for so many, your sacrifice.

Lest We Forget

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