25th April in cities and towns throughout Australia and overseas people get together to honour the memory of men and women who sacrificed their lives in service of Australia. The term ANZAC has transcended the physical meaning of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps to become a spirit – an embodiment of courage, discipline, sacrifice and camaraderie. On such occasions, we do not glorify war but celebrate heroism of all soldiers, sailors and airmen.
Sikhs get together to reflect on the distinguished service of our forefathers as part of and alongside the ANZAC forces. We remember Sarn Singh of the 43rd Battalion, Australian Imperial Force who fought with instinctive tenacity and grit in Flanders, Belgium. We remember the 14th Ferozepur Sikh battalion that was annihilated to the south of Gallipoli as part of the August Offensive. We reinforce and reflect on our shared history following the breakout of World War II, with ANZACs and Sikhs braving the blistering heat and demoralising sand storms of El Alamein and Tobruk to bring German Afrikakorp to a standstill.
So, on this day as we hear ‘Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free’ stand there confidently knowing you’re an heir to a legacy born of idealism, forged in self-sacrifice and passed on proudly with a renewed commitment to one another, our nation and most of all humanity.
Therefore, in celebration of the valour of those who fought for Australia the Sri Dashmesh Band, a Malaysian Sikh Band, is honouring ANZAC Day by performing in Sydney in (various locations). Come join crowds of proud Australians and Australian Sikhs as we honour the lives lost to the service for the freedom of Australia.
Special thanks to Preet Multani and Amrinder Singh for gathering information and putting together this article.
The banner image above shows RAAF personnel with a Sikh solider