This ANZAC Day we're honoured to share this 2015 piece by Andrew Ferguson.
Honouring Stan Carpenter...
16 hours ago
Two armies lay in their trenches at opposite ends of the battlefield, waiting - their hearts and minds a slurry of emotion. Anticipation, nervousness, fear, courage and uncertainty.
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The bugle sounds and they know the time has come to prove their worth. This is the day they prove themselves against the best the enemy has to offer. Today they will become men. Today is the day all their combat training comes to the forefront. They will rely on everything they have learned, coupled with all the courage they can muster.
War is about courage.
The bugle?s blast slices through all uncertainty. It is the catalyst for ?game-on?. The groups of men are slapped back to the present. Stinging blows that shatter dreams and memories. Instantly the mood changes, from fear and apprehension to blind hatred of the enemy. Everything is forgotten. Everything, but the task at hand. Everything but war.
War is about focus.
The soldier explodes from his trench and heads towards his enemy. His bayonet is drawn, his guns loaded. He weaves his way across the battlefield - stepping over the bodies of his fallen comrades - swerving around the clutching arms of the desperate enemy. Desperate to protect their trenches from infiltration. Desperate to survive. Desperate to be victorious.
War is about victory.
Suddenly one of the enemy falls, fatigued - both physically and mentally. Weary from the pressures of battle. The soldier stretches out and slides through the gap. He streaks his way towards the trenches. Just as he reaches the trench he is hit from behind. A stray bullet clips him on the ankle, taking his foot out from underneath him. He keeps scrambling, struggling in the vain hope he can make it to the enemies trench where he can launch an offensive and help his army to victory. Even in the face of death, and utter hopelessness, victory is still on his mind. Victory is all that is on his mind.
War is about desperation.
Another bullet hits him in the back, and he falls to the ground, and yet he gets up again and keeps crawling. With every ounce of strength in his body he fights, until he can fight no more. Even then, he falls facing the enemy.
War is about determination.
Through the roar of guns and the groaning of beaten men, the sergeant?s voice is piercing. He paces along on the side of the battlefield, barking orders to his troops - reminding them of the battle plans, instructing them of changes to the attack. Shouting encouragement. He feels every assault on his men as if it were him. He feels ever flesh piercing bullet. He is as involved as any of his troopsHe shares every moment with his men. Both the good and the bad.
War is about passion.
There are no white flags, and noone will surrender. This battle will rage until the death. Until one team is victorious, standing taller than the rest. There can only be one victor and losing is not an option. There is no room for second best. War allows not for complacency.
War is about champions.
The victorious will go down forever in memories. The loser, almost forgotten. The battle, etched in history for enternity. Such is the way of war. It changes the lives of everyone involved, builds character, and strenthens mateship - generating an understanding that will never broken.
War is about eternity.
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Rugby League is war. Rugby League is about war.
Courage, Focus, Victory, Desperation, Determination, Passion, Champions, Eternity.
These are the words that invoke such emotion about our game - and the reasons why our game today is still the best game of all.
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