As many as 500 people attended the commemorative service at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway held on 24 April, the eve of ANZAC Day.
Guest speaker Gary Wilson, a 20-year Army veteran and a survivor of the 2010 fatal Black Hawk crash in Afghanistan which killed three Australian commandos and one US soldier, told the gathering of his determined battle to overcome physical and mental injuries.
“Love transcends all wars,” he said. “It is what is common among every story of loss, grief, survival and pain. The lessons that are learned in war help us to appreciate what matters and what doesn’t.
“War and love don’t seem like a natural fit but when you strip away the bullets, the grenades, the packs, the treks, the hardship, everything we do is for love.”
KTMW chair Jennifer Collins presented a plaque expressing gratitude to General the Hon David Hurley, for the support he has given the Memorial Walkway as its patron, during his term as Governor of NSW. This was the final visit to the Walkway by General Hurley before he took up his appointment as Australia’s Governor-General.