Honouring our Anzacs, past and present

ANZAC Day is as important as any day on the Australian calendar. In recent times, it has grown from strength to strength and shows no signs of slowing down, highlighting just how respected the day is and what it represents for the nation.

Locally, this is particularly evident. Across the Fleurieu, young and old rose early this morning and in strong numbers, gathered in sombre reverence to pay their respects at local dawn services.

Second Valley hosted it's first ever formal Anzac Day service which was well attended by locals and those from surrounding areas. For the second year in a row, Middleton played host to a mid-morning service after decades where no commemoration was held.

Likewise, Mount Compass hosted its second ever Anzac Day service following a huge push from the community to get an event up an running. The significance of this day shines through in these services and local townships have worked exceptionally hard to take part, get involved and honor their local, fallen and surviving service men and women.

Anzac Day serves as a harrowing reminder of the costs of war. It instills in us a sense of gratitude, that because of the ultimate sacrifice made by so many, we are free to live our lives in peace.

The fallen are remembered, the surviving are honoured and those currently serving have a chance to tell their stories. Always inspiring, are the swathes of young people who turn out to attend services over Anzac Day.

Speaking to a number of veterans over the last week, it's clear that many hold a special appreciation for the passing on of their lessons and experiences to today's youth.

Anzac Day offers an important facility to educate the wider community on what service men and women endured and what many still endure to this day.

Rather than glorifying war, it lays its horrors bare. The youth of today are shown the price of conflict, not its spoils. It also raises much needed awareness of the issues facing many Australian veterans and their families.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the mental scars of conflict were once a taboo subject, but today they are brought to the fore and much needed funds are raised to support struggling ex and current service men and women. This year, why not consider donating to ensure those who have given so much are supported?