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Craig Cook Address to the Nation at the Dawn Service ANZAC DAY 2011 PDF Print E-mail

Craig and Son Regan at Dawn Service Melbourne 2011


ANZAC Day is a day that I reflect on the sacrifices that the men and women of our Nation have made throughout our history to ensure that the freedoms and rights of this great Nation and its Allies are maintained. These sacrifices also extend to the support that our Country has provided to other countries so that they may also enjoy the freedoms and rights that we hold at the heart of our Nation.

It is not a day that I reflect on the past glory’s of conflicts and battles that we have won, but the sacrifices we as a Nation have endured.  It is not a glorification of War, but a day where we remember and honour those that have served, those that currently serve and in particular those that have given the ultimate gift for what we believe in.

It is a day I reflect on the dark day on 2 Apr 1993, when we lost LCpl Shannon McAliney on operations in Somalia.  It is the day that I reflect as a Australian Warrant Officer embedded with the 1st LAR Bn, 1st MARDIV, USMC, and the loss of three young Marines LCpl Chad Hildebrant, LCpl Daniel Bubb and LCpl Jeremy Tamburllo in the Al Anbar province of Iraq in 2005. Three young men that may not be Australians, but men I trained and fought with. Losses I, their families and friends will always feel. It is a day on which I remember my return to Iraq in 2007 as the Squadron Sergeant Major of A Squadron 2nd Cavalry Regiment and those soldiers I lead and served with.

I look at my 14 year old son who is with me today, wearing the medals of one of his Great Grandfathers and the medals of his mother, who like me is a Veteran of Somalia, who subsequently saw service in the killing fields of Rwanda, who right now is attending this service but in our nation capital where he and my wife reside.  Both his parents are soldiers again separated, not by operational deployment but by service requirements.  This day to me is not just a day of reflection on our sacrifices as soldiers, but the sacrifices of our family’s, so that we may do the job we are called upon to do.

So today I ask you as a Nation not only to think of the sacrifice our service men and women have given in the past but think of those right now that are still in harms way.  In addition, I think of you, our families, and the sacrifice you give when we are called to do our duty.  Thank you.


Lest We Forget.

WO1 Craig Cook

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