Monday, April 26, 2010

ANZAC Day and what it REALLY means!

I know that today is the ANZAC Day holiday, even though ANZAC Day was yesterday.
The day we celebrate, for want of another word, the day that Australia fought the first world war on Turkey's coast in a blood bath that was the stupidest thing ever, and then onto France, and pretty much depleted the male race from Australia.

From Wikipedia - When war broke out in 1914, Australia had been a Federal Commonwealth for thirteen years. In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula, under a plan by Winston Churchill to open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies. The objective was to capture Istanbul, capital of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany. The ANZAC force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Turkish Army commanded by Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatürk). What had been planned as a bold strike to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. The Allied Gallipoli casualties included 21,255 from the UK, an estimated 10,000 dead soldiers from France, 8,709 from Australia, 2,721 from New Zealand, and 1,358 from British India. News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which they remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in war.
Some would see it as celebrating our freedom, (we didn't need to be freed), fighting for the flag, (although that's just a piece of material), fighting for the country, (sorry, you fought on someone else's soil), and thanking all the people who fought, (even though there are no actual ANZACS left, they're all dead), and so that is why they have asked survivors of other wars, and children and grandchildren to walk in the parades instead.
My problem is not the marches, the celebrations, the drinks and war stories, the travelling to the war zone to see what all the fuss is about, although if you keep getting upset at the memories then don't go.
My problem is, it's a holiday.
I don't see why it should be, or why we should be forced to celebrate a war we should not have gone into, or the fact that thousands died doing it.
It was a disgrace, disgusting, and we should not be celebrating it because of what it was. A death trap for all who went.
Sure, there were those who came home, then lived some form of life and had a family, suffered depression and post traumatic stress, and then died with barely a "who gives a shit" after struggling to be recognised, to receive pensions and benefits, medical and mental help, and were generally not given a crap about until the day they died.
Countries treat their war "heroes" like shit. Expecting them to go and do their "duty" and then come home in either a body bag, or a shell of their former selves.
Why do we celebrate this?
What is there to celebrate?
People go on about how Australia would not be where and who we are today if it were not for the diggers.
Really?
You really think that!
You have no idea what would have happened if we had not gone to war. Although some claim we would be owned by the Japanese, but that was only after World War 2. Maybe, maybe not. And yet it happens time and time again.
For every war fought, our leader fearlessly sends off men and women to either die or come home wounded.
How many American service people have come home in body bags or without arms and legs, to be left in the gutter without benefits or even the acknowledgement of what they have done for "their country".
Country's leaders don't give a shit about how many will die, how many will come home without body parts or with severely fractured minds and souls.

Our fearless leaders would not go to war themselves they're too gutless. They just send "their people" instead.
So, why do we celebrate such revolting atrocity?
I don't know, but I still don't think there should be a public holiday for it.
I've seen old diggers bawling their eyes out at the memories of losing their men in war, the sins committed, the friends lost. And time and time again I ask myself, why? Why do they do it? Why do they do it year after year knowing that it's going to kill them just a little bit more emotionally, if they have any emotions left at all. Aren't they just shells of the men they used to be? Aren't they heartsick enough after decades of anguished memories to NOT go back every year? To not relive the pain, the terror, the fear of dying and losing their lives, their mates, their mental capacity?
Apparently not.
I've heard psychiatrists say that it's not healthy to live in the past, and if you live in the past you won't have a future.
These men, these war survivors live an existance, but the pain remains. The memories, the hell, the love and loss, the mental demons and physical anguish, it all remains.
So why do they keep reliving what they fought so hard to forget?
Why do we keep celebrating something that should be let go of?
The day should be remembered by those who choose to.
Those who want to.
Those who wish to put themselves through the pain and misery every year for the rest of their lives.
Not by the rest of us who have chosen to live in the moment, who worry about today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, next decade.
We have to worry about now, and live our lives for us, our loved ones, our FUTURE.
NOT the life that is 95 years in the past.Celebrate how you want peeps, and don't let anyone tell you how you should be doing it. It's none of their business.
Jewels xxoo

4 comments:

  1. I don't think anyone considers it a day of celebration.. just a day of remembrance.

    I agree with you though that what happened in Gallipoli was, without a doubt, one of the stupidest moments in our war history. People talk about the "brave" diggers.. and perhaps they were.

    But sometimes there's a fine line between bravery and stupidity.

    Of course, back then they didn't have a choice. You were drafted into the army, and you did what, as you said, someone too gutless to face the front line themselves, told you to do.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I learn something new everyday. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, I had no clue this was a celebrated holiday.

    Smooches,
    Sassy Chica

    ReplyDelete
  4. Scoman - I saw much news coverage over the weekend, and many said it was a celebration of those who fought and came home.

    I don't agree, what's to celebrate? Death? War? Hell?

    Sassy Chica - yes it is, and has been for decades. But I think it shouldn't be.

    ReplyDelete

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