A symbol of a nation
On April 25, Darwin-based Army soldier Private Cameron Roosenburg will join the community in commemorating the Anzacs, not at a public service, but from his own home.
The 25-year-old infantryman believes it is important to remember the Anzacs during the crisis facing the world today to draw strength from their efforts to better the nation.
“Australia’s people have always been willing to sacrifice themselves for the defence of our nation and the lives we now live. This should never be forgotten,” Private Roosenburg said.
“Remembering their sacrifices can help us get through what we’re facing today.”
One of the most iconic images from previous conflicts is the infamous slouch hat or ‘slouchy’ worn by soldiers and is a symbol of Anzac service.
For Private Roosenburg, it means a great deal.
“When I think of the slouchy the image that comes to me is a soldier wearing a hat that’s so withered but still does the job, just like the soldier wearing it on the beaches of Gallipoli,” he said.
“It’s a symbol of a nation, of the Anzac spirit and of mateship in hard times.”
Private Roosenburg has always held military service in high regard and dreamt of a career in the Australian Army.
“I never finished school despite being very academic; my heart was not set on being a person that went to university and studied. I wanted to be a person that made a difference,” Private Roosenburg said.
“Being in the Army has really given me the experience I was after – it’s challenging but all worth it at the end of the day.”
Since his enlistment in 2016, Private Roosenburg has spent his regimental time at Darwin’s 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
Here he proudly supported the local community in recovery efforts following the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Marcus in February 2018.
“I remember a lady coming out the front of her house and saying to her family, ‘It’s okay, the Army is here’, as if all her worries and pressures from the cyclone were gone at the sight of us helping,” Private Roosenburg said.
“Seeing the community appreciate your assistance is always a humbling experience.”
Like so many others, Private Roosenburg’s account of his career serves as a reminder of the important role that service men and women play in service of the nation.
Although he will be spending this Anzac Day social distancing from the community, he knows Australians will come together and commemorate in their own way.