One of the figures on the Cenotaph in Martin Place, Sydney.
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Anzac Day

2014 marks 100 years since the beginning of “the war to end all wars”.

Next year will mark 100 years since the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I: they landed on Gallipoli on this day, 25 April, in 1915.

25 April was officially named Anzac Day as long ago as 1916. It is still observed now, with pride by some, with sorrow by others, with indifference by a great many more. As with Easter or Christmas, the Queen’s Birthday or Labour Day — all official Australian holidays — the significance has generally been diminished and it has become little more than a extra day off work.

Yet thousands of people will have set their alarms for 4am or 5am  this morning in order to be at the Sydney Cenotaph for the Dawn Service. Hundreds of others, such as the members of the various pipe bands that mass for the service and march throughout the morning, will have woken even earlier. They will all have stood in silence on a pedestrianised thoroughfare overlooked by looming glass-sided office towers, as a grey dawn broke and wind drove rain into their faces — and they held their private thoughts.

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3 thoughts on “Anzac Day

  1. For me it’s a kind of double-edged sword: I am adamant we must never forget these men AND BOYS, who lived for varying lengths of time through more horror than we could possibly imagine … but at the same time, I fear that we are still tending to glorify war as if noble and worth doing. Imo, all that’s worth doing is ensuring that no man or woman need stand on a battlefield again. Some hope !

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    • I share your feelings. All those soldiers deserve our remembrance, but I have no enthusiasm for war or the military per se. Just imagine what Australia could do with $12 billion if we weren’t buying all those fighter planes!

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