THOUSANDS of people attended the Rockingham Anzac Day service to remember the 100th anniversary of the charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade at Beersheba.
The City’s Village Green was almost packed with people paying their respects to Australia’s fighting men and women in perfect weather conditions.
Guest speaker Colonel Milton Butcher paid tribute to the original Anzacs for the heroism, tenacity and perseverance they displayed at Gallipoli, in particular at the landing.
“We should also remember the role played by many women who served as nurses and the tremendous deeds required in treating the full gamut of injuries that are sustained in modern warfare,” he said.
Col. Butcher, commander of the WA Army Cadet Brigade, said Australia had been involved in many conflicts, from the Boer War to Afghanistan.
“Anzac Day has become inclusive of all of our national conflicts and has become a day where we acknowledge all service personnel and civilians who have suffered and continue to deal with the effects of war,” he said.
“We remember those who continue to suffer with physical or mental scars and family members whose grief and sense of loss can never be eased.”
Col. Butcher said the values associated with the Anzac spirit are those that make society stronger, better and just.
He said Anzac Day also provided an opportunity to reflect on what a lucky country Australia was and the highlighted the country’s commitment to contribute to peace in other parts of the world.
“We do not ignore our responsibilities to others as exemplified by our current operational focus,” he said.
“As a nation, Australia is prepared to stand up for what is right and assist our neighbours and allies.”
He said Anzac Day did not glorify war but was a day to remember the sacrifices of those who have served.
“This service and parade are not showcases of martial spirit but a nation reflecting on the sacrifice and accomplishments of conflicts forced upon us,” he said.
Navy chaplain James Sutherland asked the gathering to reflect upon those that have served and died as well as those who continue to serve in the defence of Australia, including personnel currently away on deployment on the frigates HMAS Arunta and HMAS Ballarat.
“Because of their service we are able to assemble here in peace without fear of oppression or harm,” he said.
“We seek to remember those who have fallen and given their lives to that others may live.”
An army catafalque party took up position at the Rockingham war memorial along with two horses from the Kelmscott Pinjarra 10th Light Horse Memorial Troop who stood guard during the commemoration proceedings.
During the service two RAAF jets flew over the memorial, followed soon after by a languid squadron of pelicans also appearing to pay their respects.
Horses from the 10th Light House regiment trained on Rockingham beach in preparation for the Gallipoli in 1915.