Anzac Day 2016 in Wangi Wangi

April 25, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Posted in Australia, History, Reflections, Society, Special Occasions, War and Conflict | 14 Comments
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ANZAC means Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

As we do every year, today we celebrate Anzac Day here in Australia and in New Zealand.

The landing by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) on Turkey’s Gallipoli peninsula on 25 April 1915 was Australia’s first major action of the Great War. These soldiers quickly became known as Anzacs, and the pride they took in that name endures to this day.

When they landed they faced fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke 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 from the peninsula, with both sides having suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. More than 8,000 Australian soldiers died in the campaign.

Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who died in the war.

I have written before on Anzac Day – herehere and here.  And Here is more background.

Here in Wangi Wangi, NSW, there was a dawn service. At 10 o’clock we had a parade down Wangi’s main street, consisting of past and current servicemen and women, school children, and members of various public services and voluntary organisations. The R.A.A.F. provided the armed service contingent this year.

The large and growing contingent of vintage army vehicles is a always popular drawcard for everyone. It ended at the memorial in front of the RSL (Returned Services League) Club, where a half hour ceremony was conducted.

We also had a flypast by three BAe Hawk fighter jets from the RAAF base at Williamtown, Newcastle.

I took photos of the parade and the later display of vehicles, but I could only get one partial shot of the people conducting the ceremony as I wasn’t tall enough to see over those in front of me. Here are some of the highlights of the morning.

01 Hardware sign

02 RAAF lead parade

03 salute

04 K9 unit

05 Wangi school

06 Full tracks

07 Jeeps

08 Ambulances

09 Old blitz trucks

10 Half-track truck

11 Crowd heads to the ceremony area

12 Ceremony blocked by crowd

13 Part of vehicle display

14 Looking to lake

15 Looking from jetty

16 Flags

 

Lest we forget

 

I have heard people who are quite opposed in their views about occasions such as ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day and others. Do you think they really commemorate those who served and suffered for a righteous cause? Or are these occasions really glorifications of nationalistic pride?  I would be interested if you could share your views.

 

(c) Linda Visman,  25th April 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 Comments »

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  1. When I was much younger, during the time of the Vietnam War, I marched with many others to end conscription. I also read and studied “The One Day of the Year”, a play about young people like me and their attitude to returned soldiers. Somewhere along the way I came to realise that war is so awful, those who experienced it need to come together and revive the camaraderie and the mateship. No-one else can possibly understand what they have gone through or are still reliving every night and day of their lives.

    I still get angry that in the 21st Century we are still solving problems by sending young men and women to dangerous parts of the world to be traumatised for life but I will always support the right of those people to be honoured for their contribution, not only on Anzac day but every day of the year.

    • Linda, I second every word of this – including that I also marched against conscription, and studies ‘The One Day of the Year’. I remember when I was a teenager, my parents & I were talking about the 2 world wars in which both my grandfathers, my father and two of my uncles served. They made it through the wars they fought in, but one uncle was killed just after his 19th birthday.
      As we talked, I burst into tears at the thought of all those young men who were killed, or wounded in mind and body. It is just so awful that ‘leaders’ can even contemplate sending them off to that. It is the worst way to solve problems, and yet we still do it.

  2. Great to see a post here, Linda! 🙂
    I really dislike war and I dislike the leaders who get us into them without first exhausting every other option. Sometimes national pride isn’t a good thing (when it’s filled with bravado and an unwillingness to acknowledge that real lives are at stake). I feel for the loss of life and honor the terrible sacrifices, and so for me, that’s what these kinds of days are about, or should be about. Those people are gone too soon and forever.

  3. I’m not sure these occasions are so much an expression of nationalistic pride; rather a remembrance of a time we would all prefer not to repeat. Maybe it’s true that these reminders are a deterrent? Whatever the motivation, it can do no harm, I guess, unless, as in this country, observance is enforced socially. If working for the BBC, for example, you are more or less compelled to wear a poppy badge for at least a week leading up to Remembrance Sunday.
    ‘Wear your poppy with pride’ is a fatuous, blimpish expression that finds currency too often. If similar sentiments apply to Anzac Day, I suppose that must be a bad thing. But hey, everyone loves a parade!

    • Yes, I see these occasions as remembrances, Frederick. I just wish that remembering what death & suffering wars always cause would encourage ‘leaders’ to pursue every other alternative than going to war.
      I am appalled that your public officials are required to wear the poppy. It should be a voluntary choice to commemorate in that way, not an imposed one. That does smack of nationalism – one of the reasons that wars happen. 😦

      • I should be careful to emphasise that the wearing of a poppy is not compulsory in any legal sense, but in certain organisations failure to do so leads to social ostracism. In the case of the BBC, if you are on screen it is more or less compulsory. The deaths we commemorate happened a long time ago, and I agree leaders should take more serious note. For the rest of us, if we are of the appropriate age, we are sometimes too willing, I think, to be sold the patriotic argument. Having said which, I am about to blog again concerning the EU, aren’t I…

      • I think that ‘expectation’ of the need to wear the symbol is almost as bad as making it legal. Surely that is a nationalistic stance.

    • Hi Leigh. Thanks for your comment. I I couldn’t understand why I didn’t get a photo of the veterans. Then I realised I was too busy clapping them as they passed.
      I pass by your place every time I go into Wangi to the shops I live not far from the pre-school) & see your van. I will check out your website & blog.
      All the best. 🙂

  4. Nice article about a special day and one that we at the Sub Branch work hard to ensure that it is a special day for all involved.

    The photos are great although it is a pity that there are none showing the veterans that marched, only the RAAF, local schools and Historic vehicles.

    I have included a link to your blog within my post.
    http://leighwarren.com/april-what-a-month-music-rsl-life-and-need-for-sleep/

    Leigh Warren

    • Hi Leigh. Thanks for your comment. I I couldn’t understand why I didn’t get a photo of the veterans. Then I realised I was too busy clapping them as they passed.
      I pass by your place every time I go into Wangi to the shops – I live not far from the pre-school) & see your van. I will check out your website & blog.
      All the best.

  5. You are educating me about an Australian/New Zealand commemoration I knew nothing about, till now. I agree with your first commenter Linda that war is intrinsically awful, but “I will always support the right of those people to be honoured for their contribution, not only on Anzac day but every day of the year.”

    • Hi Marian. Yes, I also agree with Linda’s statement there. War is abominable!
      Glad to widen your knowledge of the world, Marian. 🙂


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