Today is Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand. ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. April 25 was the day the ANZACs landed at Gallipoli in 1915 with the intention of knocking Turkey out of the First World War. Their campaign failed. Read about it here.
Many people get up at dawn to attend memorial services while others attend the ANZAC Day march that takes place down Sydney’s George Street. In recent years there has been a surge of interest in Anzac Day. Many people used to regard it as just another day off but now there seems to be a genuine desire to remember those who served and those who fell. We are proud of our Diggers (Aussie soldiers) and want to pay our respects. For years this song written by Eric Bogle and sung so beautifully here by the Irish folk singer, Liam Clancy, summed up how many felt about war and Anzac Day.
The last line speaks of the dwindling number of soldiers left to march in Anzac Day parades –
Someday no one will march there at all
which was probably true several years ago but is not the case now. Soldiers from World War Two, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and those who have recently served in places like Iraq and Afghanistan are now free to march. As are the descendants of the original Anzacs. It is so heart-warming to see children and young adults in the parade proudly wearing their grandfather’s or in many cases, their great-grandfather’s medals. We need to remember these honourable men, these everyday blokes, who left everything they knew to go and fight for their country. I raise my glass to you, dear Anzacs, may we never forget. May we always have people to march and remember.