MEDIA – Opinion Piece – NT News – We owe so much to those who have gone before us

DARWIN, 25 April 2021


By Luke Gosling


Today, we pause to remember those who served our country and paid the ultimate price for Australian values, freedoms, and sovereignty.

We think of those killed in action, in service, and those injured.

Putting your life on the line to defend your country is one of the biggest sacrifices a person can make. We as a nation accept that offering with full solemnity, acknowledging what we ask our servicepeople to do.

I think about my brothers who’ve served. And my Dad, who served in Vietnam. I think about my grandfather, who fought in the Second World War, and my great-grandfather who served in the First World War.

The Great War was supposed to be the end of all wars. In 1921, three years after it ended, the Cenotaph on Darwin’s Esplanade was dedicated to remember those Territorians who never came home.

Yesterday, we commemorated 100 years of the Cenotaph standing in our city and reminding us of those we’ve lost. But we’ve etched new names into that stone.

Yesterday was also the 70th anniversary of the battle of Kapyong in the Korean War, which was particularly important for those who served with the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. Territorian Private Jack Richardson was one of 18 Australians killed, and his name is on the Cenotaph.

Reg Hillier’s name is on there too, the only Territorian killed in Vietnam.

As the formal drawdown of Australian troops in Afghanistan begins, we also remember Scott Palmer, another Territorian whose service cost him his life.

Members of our Defence Force, our soldiers, sailors, and aviators are ambassadors for our country abroad during times of conflict, but also on humanitarian and disaster response operations around the world.

That service comes as a cost to them and their families. We owe so much to those who have gone before us. Today is a day we remember that.

ENDS