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Kunama 1957

Monaro High Girl's Winning Anzac Essay

The following essay has been chosen as the best submitted for the Cooma section of a state wide RSL competition. It was written by 15-year-old Margaret Fussell, of Jerrang Avenue. Margaret is a fifth year student at Monaro High.

Subject for all the essays was, "Why Do We Commemorate Anzac Day?"

On the 25th April in the year 1915, a band of Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed on the coast of Gallipoli to fight and, if need be, give their lives for the sake of the countries they loved so well.

It is true that we commemorate what came to be known as Anzac Day because these brave men secured safety for our country, but, more important than this, we are commemorating the spirit of the Anzacs. We pay homage not only to these men, but to all our men who have been willing to die for their country.

We feel that we and the children of the future should know what price has been paid for our safety. For each one of those men who died it must have been very hard to give up his dearest possession-his life-and yet, because he saw it as the only way to safeguard his loved ones, he did it willingly.

We have reason to be proud of these men. Their spirit was indomitable and they faced death rather than surrender. They were proud too, so proud of their beautiful untamed country that they preferred to pay the supreme sacrifice rather than see her tamed.

Is not Australia worth dying for? Every year on the 25th April we remember, more than ever, how grand and beautiful she really is. Her worth is written in the blood of those who died, and only those who have loved them know how dearly she was held in their hearts.

When we begin school we are taught about Anzac Day, firstly so that we shall respect the valour of our forefathers, and secondly that we should learn the greatest lesson in life-to love one's country. Those that teach us are hoping that we shall learn from the Anzacs and in time of need we will not fail our country. With such a splendid example before us, how can we fail her?

We are the citizens of tomorrow and upon us depends the future of Australia. To set such a fine example as the Anzacs have done, we need not fight for our country. By making ourselves into good citizens and making our country a better place to live in, we are doing all that those valiant men could have wished us to do for Australia.

Although we did not know them, we have an obligation to them to keep Australia a free and happy place. Perhaps the memory of their bravery and spirit can guide our lives and set itself up in the heart of a new and better Commonwealth.

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