Our duty to the Anzacs is to promote peace

Year 11 student Zack Lynch reflects on Anzac Day following his role last year as Australia’s Ambassador for the War and Peace in the Pacific Program.

06 August 2020
Three students and an older gentleman.
Image: Erskine Park High School student Zack Lynch (far right) with youth ambassadors Charlie and Rio from the US and Japan, and the Mayor of Kure in Japan in December 2019.

Anzac Day commemorates heroes, some of whom sacrificed their lives and safety to bring us the world we live in today. Anzac Day is relevant to everyone in Australia and this is especially true for youth.

I was reminded of the sacrifices of war during my ambassadorship as I witnessed the lines of graves of Australian soldiers at Yokohama War Cemetery in Japan.

The soldiers lying in these graves were mostly aged 17 to 19, and if we had been born at the time could have been us. While this galvanised my belief in how brave they were, it also made me realise that we, the youth of today, are in a sense in their position now.

We have a duty to the Anzacs – and all who fought in all wars – to try for peace among all nations, increase international cooperation and dispel the prejudices that lead to their loss in order to make sure we don’t have to sacrifice a generation like they did.

These heroes sacrificed their lives and safety in order to protect us and stop those who represented tyranny and oppression. This sacrifice brought us the internationally connected and multicultural world that we live and thrive in today, which led to brilliant bouts of collaboration such as the War and Peace in the Pacific program, which has resulted in better international relations between Australia, the United States and Japan.

The horrors of World War II were terrible and, considering how far humanity has come since 1945, the effects of a modern world war would be unimaginably catastrophic. Our duty to protect peace, reaching out to one another internationally and dispelling misinformation through education and respectful discussion is more important now than ever. Those with strong political opinions are able to be heard easier than ever before and echo chambers of thought and discussion are easily formed, leading to possible threats to our nation or its allies.

However, through performing our duties to the Anzacs we can dispel these issues through education and discussion, which leads to more people cooperating and strengthens us as both a nation and a world.

Anzac Day acts as an annual reminder of our duty to the Anzacs to uphold the values that they fought for and to make our nation and world more peaceful and connected as we move into the future.

  • Opinion
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