The Anzac Day tradition has meaning for us all / And if we listen closely we can hear their mournful calls. / Fighting for the freedom, the freedom of this land / Fighting for their loved ones, on that cold and desolate sand.’ ~ Anthony T. Hincks
Every country has a day that commemorates those who fight and die to protect their freedom, their traditions, and their homes. For Australia and New Zealand, there’s Anzac Day, a moment of remembrance for all those who have served their country with distinction, especially those who never made it home. No matter where in the world you live, the fallen soldiers of nations everywhere deserve your respect and admiration, so on Anzac Day take some time to learn about the part that these countries played in the world’s wars, and remember them with honor.
History of Anzac Day
To understand the history of Anzac Day, it is important to know that Anzac stands for “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps,” from which the term for one of their soldiers, an Anzac, comes from. The date of celebration for this day of remembrance is set to the anniversary of the war that first had major casualties among their forces. As a result, both New Zealand and Australia hold this day in high regard and celebrate it with all due solemnity every year.
In 1916 the first Anzac Day was celebrated in Adelaide, South Australia, which also holds the first memorial that was ever built to commemorate this holiday. The commemoration only became more important as the years wore on and World War II came to pass, leading to the death of more soldiers all over the world. These aren’t the only wars these fantastic men and women have fought, they also fight for the rights of women, gay rights, and more, initially inspired by the mistreatment of civilian women by soldiers in other cultures.
How to celebrate Anzac Day
If you don’t happen to be in the Australian/New Zealand part of the world, then it may leave you wondering not just how, but why you should celebrate Anzac Day. It is a tragedy of most countries education that we do not fully recognize the parts that other military had to play in the world’s history of wars. Every country has men and women who risk their lives and die in defense of their country, and whether they were friends or enemies, holidays like this remind us that at the end of the day we’re all people on the same planet, with friends and family who sacrifice to send their sons and daughters to war.