A nation in mourning

Today Australia mourns the loss of five of its own serving in Afghanistan.

Three soldiers were killed and two were injured in an attack carried out by someone wearing an Afghan army uniform. In a separate incident, two other servicemen lost their lives in a US Black Hawk crash.

Before cutting short commitments at the Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands, an emotional Prime Minister Julia Gillard told reporters “I believe this is the most losses in combat since the days of the Vietnam War and the battle of Long Tan. This news is so truly shocking that it’s going to feel for many Australians like a physical blow.”

This is exactly what it feels like.

Now is not the time to question why our troops are in Afghanistan, nor to ask when they are coming home. It is time to share the grief of the families and friends whose loved ones will not be coming home alive.