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The Forum > Article Comments > It is time Anzac Day was replaced > Comments

It is time Anzac Day was replaced : Comments

By Brian Holden, published 24/4/2008

Anzac day is a day of delusion: we have created a day of celebration of nationhood when we need a day of recognition that war is nothing but the ultimate human failure.

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True. As old soldiers die, their relatives are encouraged to march to keep Anzac Day going. Kids are even shipped off to Anzac Cove and parts of Europe to see where Australians and their enemies were slaughtered.

Unfortunately, Anzac Day is about the only thing left of an Australian identity. We have nothing to replace it with.
Posted by Mr. Right, Thursday, 24 April 2008 9:59:42 AM
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I agree generally with the writer's sentiments, particularly in regard to the First World War, many Australians seem to think that by involving ourselves in our ally's criminal enterprises we are paying some sort of insurance premium. Australia spent 60,000 lives in WW1 for the Empire and the British abandoned us in 1942, we should have learned by now. Anzac day is not a celibration of nationhood and independence but of subservience, that's why it is invoked by conservatives to justify military intervention in support of our "allies". That said I wonder how we could have resisted the Japanese war lords without fighting.
Posted by mac, Thursday, 24 April 2008 10:25:07 AM
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MAC

You donít know what you are talking about. The British didnít abandon anyone.

Anzac day is for remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice paid by Australians in the service of their country. Massive numbers of Australians gave their lives. Whether you agree with the decision to fight or not is irrelevant. Anzac day is now about the sacrifice of those who serve our country, sometimes paying for it with their lives. Veterans from all wars march and their service is remembered and we also remember those who never returned.

How exactly was the British involvement in WW1 a criminal enterprise?

As you rightly note in your final sentence, fighting is sometimes unavoidable. So take your religion of peace nonsense and bugger off. I am ashamed to think you might actually be an Australian. Please god I hope not. What kind of miserable human being are you?

Brian Holden,

Says >> ďImplied on Anzac Day is that we were noble and our enemies were not.

What absolute rubbish. Services are held in Gallipoli with the Turks every year. In Afghanistan and other places Australian soldiers have celebrated the day with Turkish soldiers.

ANZAC day is a very strong reminder that war should always be the last resort. It is also a reminder of all of the victims of war.

In any case donít the peace at all cost brigade have their own day when they can lament all of our misdeeds whilst ignoring those of our enemies? Oh I forgot, thatís every day.

Just look back at the peace movement of the 1960ís. That wasnít a peace movement. There was more ďHO HO Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh will winĒ than ďGive peace a chanceĒ being chanted at so-called peace rallies.
Posted by Paul.L, Thursday, 24 April 2008 10:48:38 AM
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I think many people miss the point of ANZAC day and other days of remembrance. The marches and the reinforcement of the self-worth of soldiers themselves and their normally abhorrent acts during wartime as being worth something to history, their nation and their families. A reminder that they aren't criminals.

The homecoming marches (and subsequent remembrances of the fallen) after WWI and WWII served this purpose.

Without this show of support, what you get is the bitterness and feeling of worthlessness that comes after being involved in the wholesale killing of other human beings, and it often doesn't really matter whether it was sanctioned by the government or not.

This is what happened to the Vietnam vets, no homecoming and a constant diatribe on the futility and illegality of their being there and the uselessness of their presence and actions. No wonder more have committed suicide than were killed in the war.

I think the author misses this point. They (the veterans) need ANZAC day, and because we need them, we need it too.
Posted by Bugsy, Thursday, 24 April 2008 10:56:30 AM
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Paul.L.

It is good that we are including Turks in our memorials. Gallipoli was free of atrocities. Have you noticed that we still donít include Germans?

Only over recent times has the RSL ceased publicly declaring that the Japanese soldier was an animal. If his behaviour was cruel, then he was driven to behave that way.

The Japanese soldier could be assaulted by any of a higher rank [which was not permitted in out army]. He was often hungry and received little medical attention. He was told that if we won, then we would enslave his family.

There is a good article today on the role of the churches in Anzac Day. This is but a minor example of the corruption of Anzac day. The puffed-up people on the podiums at the ceremonies are the parliamentarians. This was the very class of people who pressured our naÔve young men into the pointlessness of WW1.

In Keatingís speech on 6/6/93 he said that WW1 taught us of the futility of war. No it didnít. We conscripted young men for Vietnam. Our parliamentarians misuse Anzac Day to shift the spotlight onto heroics and off the culpability of government in jumping into supporting the political aims of our powerful friends
Posted by healthwatcher, Thursday, 24 April 2008 11:36:13 AM
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While this patronising contribution is historically factual - it is not new to most Australians - nor is the notion that - Gallipoli in particular was a failure and nothing short of a cock-up.

The sentimetns surrounding Anzac day in my experience are far more complicated and nuanced than the mere misplacing of emotional energy to a known futile war -

People use it as a vehicle to reflect on just what the Author wants - they reflect on wars futility - they reflect on the waste and the folly of following allies aimlessly into wars we have no real part in - bugger me if Iraq does not spring to mind
Posted by sneekeepete, Thursday, 24 April 2008 11:38:14 AM
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