ANZAC Day's Hidden Heroes by Owen Zupp

Owen Zupp - Saturday, April 22, 2017





As ANZAC Day approaches once again, I cannot help but think of the different world we live in today. My memories of this solemn day drift back nearly half a century and are of cold, dark mornings and ‘old’ men in coats, ties and hats. Bag pipes warming up in the background and my breath condensing into a mini-fog before my very eyes.

My father would stand solemnly, his medals in a drawer at home and only the dark brown “Returned from Active Service” badge on his lapel offered any insight into his two wars. In contrast, my mother always wore her medals. Regardless of how it was demonstrated, there was always reflection and a sense of pride.

Those who did not return were always remembered in our home in fading, yet framed, photos. Family, friends and even a fiancé who had made the ultimate sacrifice. As a lad, my parents would visit their widows and mothers and I would trail along, not always understanding the significance of those visits until I later foraged through a photo album and found an image, or a clipping, or an obituary. They were my first ANZAC experiences.

Today the clippings are not so frequent. Our men and women that serve in the front lines are rarely on the front page. And if they are, their faces are blurred or their name tag is blacked out. They are almost our hidden heroes.

The modern world and its blinking, instantaneous internet has taken our warriors and potentially made them, and even their families, targets. Targets for those who would commit evil and even trolls who wish to provoke and raise their profiles, typing in the darkened confines and safety of their closet.



When my father was flying missions in Korea, my mother may have excitedly seen his face in a newsreel in the cinema or read of a mission or an award in the newspaper. Each time, it would proudly state, “Phillip Zupp of Toowoomba, Queensland”. Today we may catch a glimpse of Flying Officer X with his dark, tinted visor fully lowered on his helmet, or an anonymous pilot walking around his aircraft. No names, no clues.

I realise it is a different time and a different world, but I still lament that those in our services on active duty cannot be recognised for their sacrifice in the way that they once were. Unless of course, that sacrifice is of the ultimate variety and their homecoming is marked by draped flags and lowered heads.

Perhaps more than ever, it is important that we value ANZAC Day and recognise our veterans of modern conflicts. For this may be the only time that we get the opportunity to see their faces and thank them for their service. And yes, it may be too little and too late, but we should still make a genuine effort to recognise them and stand them alongside those who stepped ashore in those early hours on April 25th more than a century ago.

To my family, my friends and to those I never knew. Thank you for your service.





Post has no comments.
Post a Comment

Captcha Image

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.


Purchase Owen's Books

Recent Posts


anzac day safer flying airplane owen zupp Around Australia flight aviation story solo flight australia MH370 flight training speaker airbus Australian Army aviation best seller flying aviator Solo Flight Australia. pilot Airbus A320 Sully the Movie 50 tales of flight Battle of Britain Pilatus PC-21 aviation book careers in aviation most popular aviation blog QANTAS Airbus A380 aviation careers Jabiru Aircraft pilot careers comfort zone turning forty planes airliner missing aeroplane blog RAAF PC-21 flight aviation author aircraft accident how to land an aeroplane Sully Queenstown flying training airbus A350 XWB WW2 The Pilots Blog RAF Bush Pilot Pearl Harbor Korean War aviation writer Vietnam War best aviation blog Dunkirk airlines P2902 Airbus A380 student pilot QANTAS Boeing choosing a flying school RAAF learning to fly P-51 Mustang how to land an airplane UAV Without Precedent pilot blog speaking QANTAS A380 The Practical Pilot cost of flying aviaton author solo flight Kim Jong-un Ansett Malaysia Airlines aviation R-DX solo flight. australia aviation blog flying school airline Air France 447 aircraft airliner 50 More Tales of Flight aerospace September 11th Hurricane Phillip Zupp aviation speaker Down to Earth jabiru writer's block 787 September 11 airshow author warbird learn to fly flight school writer 77 Squadron pilot training buying an aeroplane 9/11 plane crash aviation journalist flying blog pilot jobs Australian Aviation magazine 737 WW1 landing an airplane the pilot's blog terrorism owen zupp author australian aviation ANZAC aviation jobs pilot suicide buying an airplane popular aviation blog flying instructor aeroplane


© Owen Zupp. All rights Reserved.                                             Admin . Privacy . Disclaimer                                            Website by Shot to Pieces . Powered by Blackroom