Keeping traditions alive
As the Air Combat Group Warrant Officer, the customs and traditions of the Air Force play a large part in Warrant Officer Rudi Vitasz’s day-to-day job.
“Part of my role is to ensure that the next generation of Air Force personnel are aware of our history and have an understanding of the events that have formed our traditions,” Warrant Officer Vitasz said.
“Anzac Day is one of the most important commemorative events for many Australian men and women, even after 105 years.
“After the devastating start to the year for the Australian community, I feel it is more important than ever to commemorate the sacrifices of all people that work on the frontline in a crisis.”
While Anzac Day commemorations may not be held with traditional community services this year, many individuals are finding unique ways to mark the day.
Warrant Officer Vitasz, who is originally from Adelaide, said that for him a physical activity was a personal way to acknowledge the hardships faced by troops landing on the beaches of Gallipoli.
“On Anzac Day morning, my son and I will commemorate the sacrifice of all those that have become before us by running the stairs at the Anzac Memorial Walk in Newcastle,” he said.
“We will run the stairs 105 times to commemorate the 105th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.”
Warrant Officer Vitasz said Anzac Day had become an important way to bring the past, present and future together.
“While it’s a day to remember sacrifice it is also a day to celebrate the friendships and alliances we have established along the way,” he said.
“The Anzac traditions formed between Australians and New Zealanders in particular were forged in history and will endure.”
Warrant Officer Vitaszs’s son, Brady, said Anzac Day had always been a day of remembrance, reflection and respect in their household.
“It is important to show respect to those who serve and have served. It is a tragedy that so many have had to give their lives defending the country,” Brady said.
“Having my Dad in the RAAF just makes the day extra special to me. Since a young age, I have gone to the Dawn Service and now I have reached an age where I can go to the RSL and join in with the two-up.
“Anzac Day is a day which brings Aussies together as one, to remember the sacrifices made for our country.”
Warrant Officer Vitasz said April 25 would continue to be a day his family remembers those who have fallen, those who have returned and those who continue to live with their invisible scars.
“Lest we Forget.”