Monday, April 25, 2011
These brave young men when children would have learned and would have grown up singing the following popular words:
To help the weak against the strong,
And bear the flag of Truth along.
Helping the weak against the strong takes physical strength mixed with spiritual fortitude. One writer, speaking of our heroes who were at ANZAC Cove, says, “Mental strain and physical illness reduced the bodies of our finest youth to gaunt skeletons held together only by determination.”
In this one is reminded of that verse of Scripture that says,
It was a Padre, the Reverend Arthur White, who began our “Dawn Service” tradition. He had conducted a service at 0400h on the morning of the departure of the earliest ANZACs to leave Australia. After the Great War, at dawn on 25th April in 1923 he and twenty others watched a wreath they had thrown into the water. As it floated out to sea, White recited these words, “As the sun rises and goeth down we will remember them.”
How can we forget them? How can we ever forget our fallen? They have made the supreme sacrifice!
In Laurence Binyon’s 1914 poem “For the Fallen” from which our “Ode of Remembrance” is taken, we find the following words:
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
Yes, they fell with their faces to the foe. They were brave!
In Scripture we read of the Saviour who set His face against the foe as He went to the cross to defeat death itself! Yes, death killed Him, but death has no victory, for He slew death by rising again on the third day.
The enemy may come in like a flood, but the LORD has lifted up a standard. Like the rising of the sun, the Sun of Righteousness has risen with healing in His wings. It is to Jesus Christ we look for ultimate justice and absolute truth. He fought the good fight. He conquered the last enemy which is death. In Him alone is there victory! In Him alone is there forgiveness and reconciliation with God, everlasting life, for He is the resurrection and the life.
Keep this in mind as we remember those who have laid down their lives while defending our nation. In their sacrificial bravery they have shed their blood for Australia – that we may live in freedom!