Anzac Day is a time to reflect on and remember the experiences of war, Wyndham RSL sub-branch president Daryl Ryan says.
“It’s about remembering the older Diggers and the younger Diggers, those who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” he said. “It’s a time where I remember the mates that I lost in war, a time I spend reflecting on those 60 young men from Werribee who died in the First World War.
“It’s a time to think back and thank them for all we’ve got today.”
Mr Ryan said an important focus of Anzac Day is ensuring younger generations are educated on the realities of war.
“We try to get through to the kids that war is not a game,” he said. “It’s fair dinkum: young people die. It’s up to the next generation to make sure Australia doesn’t get involved in any more conflicts.”
Mr Ryan is a Vietnam veteran, serving from 1968 until he was wounded by a claymore mine and forced to return to Werribee.
He joined the RSL sub-branch in 1970, and has been closely involved since.
“There is so much that we do here, it’s not just a place where a bunch of old blokes sit around drinking beer,” he said. “We provide all sorts of support to veterans.”
Mr Ryan and other sub-branch members will be busy welcoming students into the RSL to view the war memorabilia, receiving a visit from members of the Lighthorse Museum of Nar Nar Goon, and visiting nursing homes.
He encouraged people to acknowledge Anzac Day by attending the pre-Anzac Day march along Watton Street from 2.30pm on April 24, and the dawn service at the Station Place cenotaph from 6.30am on April 25.