25 April 2009

Anzac Day

Many argue that the Gallipoli campaign was where Australia forged it's identity as a nation, and I would tend to agree. However, this leads to the quintessential question for most Australians; What makes us Australian and how do we become Australian?

Anzac Day has always had a special place for me since I was a youngster. Yet, it has taken on more significance I think since my younger brother, Brad, joined the Australian Navy. We owe a great debt of gratitude to those who dedicate themselves to the service and protection of others.

I am as anti-war as can be. I do not believe in war, I do not see it as a means to resolving conflicts, and I specially do not see it as a means of achieving lasting peace. Nevertheless, there are those who dedicate themselves to ensuring that conflict and war is a part of our existence and until the forces of good overcome those dedicated to the perpetuation of evil then this will surely be our lot. Yet, I digress from the point.

Anzac Day has taken on much greater significance for many Australians and the fact that we trek across many continents in our thousands to get to Gallipoli and places on the Western Front such as Fromelles, Pozieres, Bullecourt, Dernancourt, and Villers-Bretonneux to name but a few is testament to the increased awareness that we have as a nation of the sacrifices of our fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers, and our mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers too.

This post is not intended to be a history lesson. If you want that there are plenty of good sites you can check out for yourselves. I found one here, but a simple Google search with the terms Anzac Day history will get you about 1.4 million hits.

The Ode of Remembrance from the poem "For the Fallen by English Poet Laurence Binyon best says what must be remembered:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.

It is the young men and women who sacrificed so much, including their lives, so that the rest of us could live in relative peace.

The photo of Anzac Cove is courtesy of this site and can be found there.


treespotter said...

how's home?

Rob Baiton said...


Home is good.

In many ways it is almost like I never left. This is in spite of the large amount of water that has passed under the bridge so to speak.

boneman said...

I dunno, Rob. I had joined the army at 18, in Viet Nam for my 19th birthday...no fun, that.
Pretty much had a lasting effect on me, and, as I look back, realize that it was horror up close and personal.
And also that nothing was accomplished.

Now, let's get to today, and now.
If you haven't seen it ( and I truly doubt that's the case) then Lord of the Rings (the extended version is better than the short versions) in the second movie, Two Towers, there's a line Aragorn uses to King Theoden:
"War is upon you whether you would have it or not,"
And, that pretty much sums it up, eh?
War IS upon you whether you would have it or not.
You are the protector of your family. Your war is also not just domestic, as you deal with the law. That is war. You battle the forces of evil, you have your principles, you remain alert in public.

You might not wield a sword or rifle...but, I'de do battle on your side anytime!
You're a good warrior.

Now, as for Treespotter...hmmm. I think we should talk him out of those cigarettes. But, he'de probably be oK, too.

Rob Baiton said...


War is no the answer. I would agree that there is no fun in war and that the sense of adventure probably wears off once the horror of battle becomes up close and personal.

I defer to you on this as I have never joined up and have never served in the armed forces.

Nice topic change, sort of. Nope, have not seen the latest and extended version. I will seek it out and have a squizz.

Yes, war is usually upon you whether you would have it or not.

On the treespotter front. Good luck on the ciggies but I do not see anyone having any success on getting the man to quit. He's definitely OK and quite the warrior ;)

oigal said...

War may not be the answer but as the boneman rightly points out..is often thrust upon us.

Having said that you must be careful not to equate ANZAC Day directly to "war", I think it has evolved into something much more than remembering those who have fallen in times of war.

As an aside, still think the lads of World War Two era, were humanities greatest generation.

oigal said...

BTW.. Had over 300 people to our little ANZAC Service in the Indonesian Jungle at 5 am

treespotter said...

oigal, that's impressive. 300 people. you must have quite a following.

home is nice when you find one.

Not sure about the quitting smoking thing, i can't seem to find a good reason for it.

treespotter said...

this is very much OOT but i can't help it, any comment AA and the murder allegations?


Rob Baiton said...


I did not disagree with the Boneman. I actually agreed I think.

Anzac day may have evolved into something else but then again its essence is one of remembering great courage in the face of overwhelming odds (and utter stupidity - it is amazing that Churchill was ever able to rehabilitate himself) in what was ultimately an ugly defeat for the Anzacs and the British overlords that sent so many of our young men and boys to their early graves.

There are great lads and ladettes in ever generation.

It is nice that you managed to get 300 people out to pay their respects in the middle of the jungle.


I figured that finding a reason to quit might be a bit of an issue :D

Rob Baiton said...


Very much off topic.

I was thinking about it and then thought, nah...there are plenty of others that can weigh in on those allegations.

I am hearing though that it might be a case of where there is smoke there could very well be fire.

Have you posted on the topic yet?

treespotter said...

not yet, my sources are obviously overly quiet on this. It does seem very real, however. very sad, but i fear this one could be the real thing.

oigal said...

Hi Tree,
300 is probably an underestimate (although I have little to do with the actual event other than attendance).

Although here the day has "evolved" to include Indonesian Vets and Widows.

It is interesting to try to explain the concept to an Indonesian tho,
Its your national day?...eer No not really.
Its your Independance Day? Eer No?
You are celebrating a massive defeat..eer No?

Probably a bit off topic and provocative but I always find it interesting (disturbing?) none of the dear old Indonesian widows from World War 2 (and just after) wear Jilbab..I wonder what happened..so many dreams must have changed