As dawn breaks on April 25, Australians join together to attend Anzac Day commemorations across the country and overseas.
This date has become more than a sacred tradition for Australians - it has become part of our national identity, one that unites Australians every year.
They come together at Dawn Services, at marches, or at their local pub for a game of two-up. Young and old, veteran and civilian, Australians and those from other nations, share in honouring the contribution of our servicemen and women.
For all, Anzac Day is a time to reflect, to grieve and to remember.
Reflect on those who have served us with distinction in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations - from the muddy trenches of the Western Front, to the jungles of Papua New Guinea, through to the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan today.
Grieve for the 102,000 Australian service personnel who have lost their lives in defence of Australia including the 32 men who have lost their lives in Afghanistan; grieve for the loved ones left behind; and grieve for those who suffered with the mental and physical scars of their service for many years after.
Remember to tell your stories or to pass on the stories of family members who served and died, to your children and grandchildren so that we never forget the terrible tragedy of war.
This Anzac Day is especially significant as we mark the 70th anniversary of one of the darkest periods in our nation’s history - when the Second World War reached Australian shores.
Seventy years ago, more than 240 Australians lost their lives in the bombing of Darwin and more than 2,300 Australians lost their lives during the Papuan campaign in fighting along the Kokoda Track, at Milne Bay and on the beachheads of Buna, Gona and Sanananda.
Please take the time to keep the Anzac spirit alive by attending an Anzac Day service - to honour the Diggers of today, those who have served in past wars and conflicts, and the families who have always supported them.
Lest we forget.
The Hon Warren Snowdon MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Centenary of Anzac