Man honours fallen soldiers
MORANBAH'S Shane Witherspoon hopes a video he made in honour of Australia's Anzacs will not only pay tribute to the country's past, but inspire current generations to support the April 25 Anzac Day tradition and recognise "how lucky we are”.
Mr Witherspoon, who has lived in Moranbah for 20 years, said he shared the 18-minute video to the Moranbah Community Noticeboard on Facebook last week as a celebration and commemoration of the Anzacs and so people today could continue to learn what war-time was like.
"I hope people on Anzac Day take the time to watch it,” he said.
He said he made the video to help people gain an understanding of what Gallipoli during WW1 was like.
"I want people to compare today back to then but also - and this is the part that gives me goosebumps each time I watch it - is the fade-away from the war-time images to the youth of today.”
Mr Witherspoon said the subject of Gallipoli held "a big area of intrigue” for him as he attempted to relate war-time events to today's world.
"We're so lucky, you know,” he said.
"We're so lucky we have the hindsight to see what the wars were like and thank God we're not in them on that scale.
"We're pretty blessed for what they went through.
"I feel a lot of pride in what they achieved.
"I hope none of my kids or grandkids ever have to go through that.”
As a dedicated supporter of Anzac Day services, Mr Witherspoon said he hoped more people would be inspired to attend their local dawn services and Anzac Day parades so the tradition didn't die.
"The Moranbah service gets bigger every year.
"And it's important because this is where our country got its identity from.
"We really didn't become a strong and tight nation until April 25, 1915 - that's what tested our people and it's when they showed a lot of resolve.
"They showed a lot of spirit.
"That's where we got our reputation - we're courageous, brave, we help.”
Mr Witherspoon said he was motivated to make the video after marking 100 years since the Gallipoli landing in 2015.
"My Pop was in the Second World War so I march every year with his medals.
"And one of my son-in-laws is in the army and he's currently in Iraq.”
Mr Witherspoon's wife, Rhondda, also remembers both her grandfathers who were in the British Army during World War I.
"The main reason I put the video together, and did it in that way, is it's a lot about youth.
"I want to convey to people, that if you relate this to your current family - some of these kids were only 14-15 years of age - I wanted people to get a sense of what the families would have gone through back then and what sort of effect it would have had on them.
"It was an adventure for all those blokes, and it was the making of our nation and the first major conflict we'd been in - the First World War and the first time we'd battled together as a nation.
"But there was the horrendous losses over there - 8709 people died at Gallipoli.
"When you put it into context, we only had about 400,000 men who went over in World War I.
"That's a huge chunk out of our population and it decimated that generation,” he said.
"Carnage on that scale had never been seen before.”