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We do not “Celebrate ANZAC Day”

April 24, 2014

Tomorrow is ANZAC Day, and…. well look for yourself.

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Thankfully there are those who know better.

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We do not “Celebrate ANZAC Day”.
We remember.
We commemorate.
Lest we forget.

I grew up remembering ANZAC Day as a day of remembrance. As a child I marched with my grandfather who fought in World War 2. After the march I’d head home, while he went to a reunion with his unit. The one time I marched as an adult was a month after he passed away in 2002, alongside my father, my uncles and aunty, and my siblings.

In the past 20 or so years ANZAC Day has become a day of pride and of patriotism, and worse of nationalism and Australian exceptionalism. Many seem to have forgotten what the NZ in ANZAC stands for. Some seek to wave the flag boldly, rather than honour the flag solemnly. And as we can see above, some seek to profit from the day and in a sense of celebration.

It is important to remember and honour those who fought and those who died. We owe them better than myth making.

It is important to remember that the Gallipoli campaign was a failure and that many died for no good cause. It is important to remember that the ANZAC spirit is not exceptional. It is a human spirit that was also found on the opposing side of the Gallipoli battle as Turks fought to defend their homeland.

Ultimately it is important to remember… Lest We Forget.

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