For me ANZAC day is not only a day where we as a community are able to come together, young and old to show our appreciation, gratitude and respect for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live our lives today, it is also an example for everybody that no matter what is happening every issue can be resolved.

Although the day is mainly about appreciating our soldiers who lost their lives those issues from the past are put aside and we are also able to show respect for those who fought against us because although we may speak a different language or have a different skin colour every life that was lost is somebody’s sibling or parent and their loss is felt heavily.

I think that this mindset of forgiveness despite what’s happened is a priceless piece of knowledge that we can pass down generations to come. Although we aren’t able to have a dawn parade or any big celebrations this year I hope people still at least take a minute out of their day to remember our soldiers and their sacrifice.

Kevin Paulsen is head boy at Whakatane High School