JULIAN LEESER PAYS TRIBUTE TO SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN PAST AND PRESENT

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Hills District RSL ANZAC Day service – Galston Cenotaph

Federal Member for Berowra, Julian Leeser MP, joined the Galston community to honour the sacrifice and service of the brave men and women who have served and are currently serving in our Armed Forces around the world.

“Today, we bear witness to the sacrifices of our community in defending our nation. We remember the brave sons and daughters of our community who have fought and died during conflicts over the last century, many who were taken long before their time. This year we mark the 80th anniversary of the commencement of World War Two.

“World War Two was unlike any war that Australia had experienced before. The Australian mainland came under direct attack for the first time, with Japanese aircraft bombing towns in North-West Australia, and Japanese midst submarines attacking Sydney Harbour.

“Men and women everywhere were in uniform. Many were sent overseas on active service and the newspapers on a daily basis printed lists of casualties. There was no part of Australia unaffected.

“The Berowra electorate itself became no stranger to the harsh reality of war.

“Blackouts were practised throughout Berowra and brown-out shields were placed on all street lights, remaining on lights that could be seen from sea until the close of the war. The names were removed from railway stations so that they could not be used to help enemy navigation.

“There were air raid sirens in communities and defensive trenches were a feature of every school. Fears of the Japanese fire-bombing the local bushland led to the formation of the Hornsby Shire Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade and Hornsby Shire acted as a training ground for Australian troops.

“In 2019, the ranks of those who served and survived the Second World War are now thinning. So, we must take this opportunity, on ANZAC day, to pause, and remember their legacy.

“They were our age, perhaps even younger. They helped shape our communities into the wonderful places they are in the present day.

“In a constantly changing world, it is more important than ever that we take these opportunities, however fleeting, to pause and reflect on the contributions of the past and to look ahead and find ways we each can contribute through our volunteer service efforts to making our nation stronger and enriching our Australian spirit,” said Julian Leeser.

For full text of the speech contact Annie Phillips at annie.phillips@aph.gov.au