Today is ANZAC day, one of the most important days in the Nations calendar. It is a public holiday as it is the day Australians and New Zealanders remember those who died in war and the reason for fighting.
It has often been said that as a nation we celebrate our greatest loss in war but I think this is missing the point. Gallipoli was our greatest loss but ANZAC day has come to mean more in the nations psyche. Firstly it is the day we remember all Australians lost in all wars and there are commemorations all over the country.
ANZAC Day has grown in popularity and this has many commentators asking why. I think the meaning of ANZAC day is changing. A couple of years ago now, I had a conversation with a new immigrant to Australia which I have thought about often as the point made was that to this gentleman’s surprise it was not a celebration of war but a celebration of the ideals of peace. Some see these commemorations as celebrating war but to my mind that is not the case. To me ANZAC day acts a reminder that everyone should strive towards the peoples of the world living together in peace. Idealistic I know, but that to me is what the day is about ideals and the sacrifice that many have made towards an ideal.