As the sun rose this morning on the 101st Anzac Day, I stood beside thousands of strangers in the small Whitsunday town of Bowen and paid tribute to our fallen soldiers from World War I.
It's a tradition I try to maintain every year; an act of remembrance since my early school days, and I'm sure a smile came across my face when I saw the hundreds of school children still marching and laying wreaths. In a world of iPads, apps and Apple watches, it was nice to see kids acknowledging our nation's history and paying respect to the soldiers who selfishly helped shape our country to what we know it as today.
I think Anzac Day is different for everyone. Some of us will know family who fought in the war, and came home with stories that would haunt them for life. Others lost great grandfathers in the tragedy. And some of us didn't know anyone, but know enough to appreciate the sacrifice our Australian and New Zealand soldiers made in Gallipoli to make our country safe. However people choose to commemorate today, it's humbling to see two countries press the pause button on our daily lives and pay tribute. No other cause can stop bars and clubs opening before noon, cease trading at Bunnings or shut down major metro shopping centres as Anzac Day does. It forces us to remember.
For the last three years I've been advocating the empowerment of women in traditionally male dominated industries, but today, I pay my respects to the 78,000 soldiers who put their lives on the line, and in doing so, empowered every one of us.Lest we forget.