It is Australia Day today (April 25). judging by the public holiday, the most holy of days (seriously, shops open on Easter and on Christmas but do not and will not open on ANZAC day and when one chain hinted it wanted to the public backlash was interesting ). The date commemorates the day of landing of one of Churchill’s strategic disasters at what is now known as Anzac cove in Turkey.
I don’t have a problem with the commemoration and the idea that there should be a date and time for commemoration, but there is also Remembrance Day in November. But this day now in Australia (and it has accelerated in the past 15 years) is an over the top show of demonstrative patriotism by people who mostly have never had to contemplate going to war (there are also rituals within the armed forces that are important and mostly involve drinking). And we keep hearing about how these men (and women) sacrificed so we could have our way of life. Uh no. Australia never went to war for its independence or its laws. Since it’s inception as a modern country it has never been invaded by a hostile power (and god forbid you refer to the British landing as an invasion).
It is important to remember the fallen and to remember that war is shit. But a lot of what I see and hear is more along the lines of flaky twenty something marching and “remembering” their great uncle who died in the war.
Kind of hoping that some of the kerfuffle will die down after this year as all of the hundred year anniversaries of WWI are over once we hit November.
I never speak of this outside my house as it is “unaustralian”. I don’t have any relatives who fought in the Australian forces, but definitely have grandparents and great grandparents who were in the British forces.
Funny note- when I was very small (under 7 or 8) I thought that “the war”Had ended only slightly before my birth (I was born in the late 70s). Not quite sure how I came to this conclusion, but I remember my Nanna telling me that all of the iron railings in the fancy street in the village had been taken away and melted down to help with the war. It was a street that looked like a fancy London street (as in Mary Poppins) for reference. Since it looked kind of run down to my eyes, I assumed it was recent.