Speech by Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG, MP, Prime Minister At the 2019 ANZAC Day Commemoration

GovernmentSpeech 25th April 2019
Prime Minister Hon. Peter Charles Paire O’Neill, CMG, MP
We come together every year, to this place, at this time, and at war graves around our Nation, to remember the fallen. 
But, ANZAC Day is more than the recognition of a tragic day in our military history. 
It is a time when we express our gratitude for the great courage of men and women who fought for our freedom. 
We must not just remember their sacrifice, we must remember what they did for us. 
We reflect on the courage they displayed, and how they rose to the challenges and threats they faced. 
So many brave and valiant young people who lost their lives in Gallipoli. 
And since the landing in ANZAC Cove, many more service men and women have been killed, or have been emotionally scarred for the remainder of their lives. 
These include our Aussie Mates, our Kiwi Bros, and our own citizens, young men and women who fought, died, and suffered during the Second World War. 
No one in their right mind could ever want war, but war was brought to our land. 
The fighting was fierce and violent in so many parts of our country. 
Our people stood up and they fought, they cared for the injured, and they established a legacy that defines our relationship with our ANZAC family. 
Today, we walk the Kokoda Track out of respect for the lives that were lost and the hardship our troops went through. 
I hope that many more young people from Australia and New Zealand, as well as Papua New Guineans, take the opportunity to do this, and to learn more about our shared history. 
We remember the dead, the families they left behind, and the lives they never had a chance to enjoy into later years. 
And we thank them for their sacrifice. 
Today, the combatant Nations of the Second World War, are at peace. 
We are friends, and we work together. 
This is so greatly symbolised in the way we are working with Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Japan to deliver vital services such as electrification to our people at the recent APEC Leaders’ Meeting here in Port Moresby. 
You could not imagine that at the height of the Second World War, the Governments of Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States would one day stand together in unity for the people of Papua New Guinea. 
This is a symbol of growing partnership between our countries, and it was sealed with handshakes between the leaders of Nations that had been at war more than seventy years ago. 
In the soil of our Nation, lays the remains of the service men and women of these countries. 
Papua New Guinea offers our eternal respect and care, and our people will always honour their sacrifice. 
There are some that are not identified. 
In Bomana alone there are 3,824 Commonwealth burials, of which 699 carry no name of nationality. 
We will never forget their actions, and we will learn from their hardship and sacrifice, so that we can work together to create better lives for our children. 
Lest we Forget.