When I was 18, I met the love of my life. A girl who I would eventually marry and have three incredible children with. At 18 I had aspirations of building an empire, driving a fancy car and going on lavish holidays. At 18, I was invincible. I was never going to die, I was going to be rich and I would get the girl.

Today, I consider, could I have ever dared to dream and live so extravagantly if so many of our soldiers at this same age hadn't held the line? Fought for our freedom?

I feel a hole in my stomach when I think of these kids, with the same dreams I had, interrupted so that we would be free of occupation, terrorist attacks and foreign rule.

I have a beautiful wife, amazing happy children and an opportunity to build my empire and drive my fancy car because somebody forfeited their dreams so I could live mine.

Lives were lost. Lives just like ours, full of love, dreams, aspirations and castles in the sky.

To anyone alive or passed, that has fought for us, today is your day. I honour your sacrifice and commit to cherish the freedoms you have earned us for the privilege that it is. Thank you. Rest in peace.

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