Younger vets urged to take part in Anzac Day

Anzac day digger helmut

Anzac day digger helmut

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by AAP
20/04/2009

More than 20,000 veterans and descendants are expected to march in this year's Anzac Day parade in Sydney, with hopes more young female veterans will turn out. NSW RSL acting president John Haines said people were expected to travel from regional areas and interstate for Saturday's commemorative services and march in Sydney. He said it was hard to estimate the number of remaining World War II veterans who would march, but hoped about 20,000 people would take part in the parade. "We expect an increase in participation," he told reporters in Sydney on Monday. "It all depends on the weather and also it's not a long weekend." Mr Haines said the RSL had spent 12 months campaigning for younger veterans, especially women, to be become involved. He said in previous years many women had viewed the parade as something for men only, plus it was also difficult with many younger defence personnel deployed overseas. "Women have been serving in the military for over 100 years and their contribution to Australia has been immense," he said. "As the number of World War II veterans declines, the RSL is hoping more younger veterans will get involved in Anzac Day commemorations." Royal Australian Navy veteran Louise Burke served for 10 years, including a stint on HMAS Tobruk in Somalia for a UN peacekeeping mission. She said it was nice to be encouraged to take part and the day was a chance to reunite with old friends. "Today's veterans don't consider themselves to be veterans ... because they haven't seen what our forefathers have seen," she said. World War II veteran Amy Taylor said many women had underestimated the importance of the role they had played. "I think a lot of the women felt you had to be a returned servicewoman to march, but they've been enlightened on that," she said. "I've got up to 100 marching in my group this year. "Unfortunately it's World War II and the age is starting to tell, but the spirit is the


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