Today is a tradition that Australia has held for the last 100 years, the celebration of the ANZAC heroes who sacrificed their lives to keep our country safe.
I’m not usually so patriotic, in fact I have in the past even bitched a bit about our laws and culture. But that doesn’t mean I’m not proud of my roots or heritage. I am proud to be Australian. When you have a history as short as ours, it’s really hard not to feel proud of our spirit, the one that you’ll never experience unless you grew up here.
I wanted to write this post, not only as a tribute to the fallen but also to inform whoever wants to read this of the history of our country as well as the significance behind ANZAC day. Growing up the only cartoons I had accessible were mainly American ones, so I learnt a few bits of Americas history vicariously through the kids cartoons. But I don’t think many outside the country know much about our history, so allow me to enlighten you in point form:
🙂 The original natives of Australia are the Aborigines who are believed to have travelled down here from Maritime Southeast Asia between 40,000 to 70,000 years ago. Their spiritual and artistic traditions (the dream time stories, the didgeridoo, the boomerang) are among the longest surviving traditions in human history.
🙂 The first known landing on our soils was by Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606. A century after this visit, 29 other Dutch navigators started exploring around western and southern coasts. They saw our dry, barren and humid conditions and thought, fuck living here the land is shitty, there’s some weird tribe there and it’s too hot. So they dubbed the continent New Holland and went on their way.
🙂 In 1770, Great Britian sent Lieutenant James Cook to go chart the east coast. James explored the area more then reported back saying, it’s not really good enough for us to live here so we’ll just send all our convicts down there to Botony Bay, they’ll be right (or not, who cares) and at least the scum will be out of Britian.
🙂 The first fleet of British prison ships arrived at Botony Bay, New South Wales in January 1788 to establish a penal colony, the convicts weren’t just from England, but from every country that was part of Great Britian.
🙂 A century after the first fleet arrived, the people had segregated themselves into 6 colonies, and more Europeans were coming in and settling. But with them they bought disease and pests and because of this the Aborigines started dying out. It also didn’t help that the whites wanted to ‘domesticate’ the Aborigines, so they did things like take the children away from the adults and a plethora of other nasty shit that sticks like a stain on our history.
🙂 As time went on the gold rush happened, and with it the history of Ned Kelly, our most famous criminal renegade. Soon the country started to prosper and autonomous parliamentary democracies began to form throughout the colonies.
🙂 In 1901 the colonies voted by referendum to unite in federation, and that’s when we became Australia as it is known today. In 2001 I was part of the Centenary Of Federation celebrating our 100 years of being united.
(This is Ned Kelly, you know the quote Such Is Life? Well that’s Neds quote)
Here’s a couple of interesting facts:
🙃 Australia fought on the side of Britian in both world wars and became a long-standing ally of the United States when threatened by Imperial Japan during World War II.
🙃 There was a post war immigration program set up in Australia and we received more then 6.5 million immigrants from every continent. Australia has been supporting immigration into our country of people from more then 200 countries since the end of World War II. Unfortunately in 2013 we got a shitty prime minister who put a stop to that law for a little bit (he made the boats full of boat people disappear magically…) but I think it’s still being debated whether or not to bring the law back in.
Keep in mind, we are only a little country, and we’ve taken in a lot of people. And if you’re living here permanently, it doesn’t matter where you came from, because you’re an Australian now. That’s what I’ve always been proud of, that we were the country people could turn to to escape. Of course with that comes ignorance and racism and it’s a subject that most Aussies are split down the middle of. It’s quite simple really, there are 2 types of Aussies, the ones that will help you out coz we are all mates, or the racists, you know these kind:
So now that you have a rundown of our history, let me explain the significance of ANZAC Day:
The landing at Anzac Cove on Sunday the 25th of April, 1915 was part of the invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsular by forces of the British Empire, which began the land phase of the Gallipoli Campaign for the First World War. The assault troops, mostly from Australia and New Zealand, landed at night on the western (Aegean Sea) side of the Gallipoli peninsular. ANZAC stands for Australian & New Zealand Army Corps.
We were unsucceful in our mission. That’s a big understatement, we were basically sent to the slaughter. We arrived at Gallipoli without any instruction on what to do, the bigger forces back Britian weren’t in contact so they pretty well left us to die, they used is as fodder. We arrived at night, by dawn half of our forces had been culled, and the remaining Anzacs had no choice but to dig themselves a giant hole and stay there till they could get instructions. Even after the giant culling that had happened, Britian made the Anzacs stay there another night, so they would stay in the hole and wait for the right time to attack.
I honestly don’t give a shit about your opinion of war. It’d be nice if there were none and blah blah rose tinted glasses the world is perfect billshit, but that’s not how this world works. We are run by tyrants. There are countries with weapons capable of wiping out a decent chunk of this country, but you think war is wrong and we shouldn’t respect our troops. To you hippies I saw, fuck you. These people DIED in order for us to live comfortably. Yeah sure, war is wrong and what about the innocents and all that but you know what. Soldiers see innocent people die on a constant, and if they were the ones who had to sacrifice these people for the greater good, could anyone even start to possibly imagine the guilt the soldiers would feel? Soldiers have seen horrors that few will luckily never have to experience. War is wrong, but we won’t change, so I support the brave decision that soldiers make to defend their country at all costs, even if it means laying down their life for the greater good, even though they know they might be leaving a wife or kids behind to live without a father. Violence may not be the answer, but these people are still fucking heroes who should always be remembered and respected!
Anzac Day is a great Australian and New Zealand Tradition. It is celebrated all over the two nations and wherever Australians are overseas. It is our day to remember with affection the courage of people, and the value of friendship – to honour the dead and to acknowledge those who suffer still from the affects of war.
We do not celebrate victory or glorify war, we celebrate the human spirit, the spirit of ANZAC.
No matter what issues we have, we are still a great country, the true Aussie spirit is to help out your fellow Aussie. And no matter where I go or where I end up, I will never forget where I came from.
I’m a bushy, I’m a battler, I am Australian.
I’m going to post the lyrics to a song that was made in 1987, and is in the running to replace Advance Australia Fair as our national anthem. (It’s ok, no YouTube link, only the lyrics are awesome)
I Am Australian
I came from the dream-time, from the dusty red soil plains
I am the ancient heart, the keeper of the flame
I stood upon the rocky shore, I watched the tall ships come
For forty thousand years I’ve been the first Australian
I came upon the prison ship, bowed down by iron chains
I cleared the land, endured the lash, and waited for the rains
I’m a settler, I’m a farmers wife on a dry and barren run
A convict then a free man, I became Australian
I’m a daughter of a digger who sought the mother lode
The girl became a woman on the long and dusty road
I’m a child of the depression, I saw the good times come
I’m a bushy, I’m a battler, I am Australian
I’m a teller of stories, I’m a singer of songs
I am Albert Namatjra, I paint the ghostly gums
I am Clancy on his horse, I’m Ned Kelly on the run
I’m the one who waltzed Matilda, I am Australian
I’m the hot wind from the desert, I’m the black soil of the plains
I’m the mountains and the valleys, I’m the drought and flooding rains
I am the rock, I am the sky, the rivers when they run
The spirit of this great land, I am Australian
We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on Earth we come
We share a dream, and sing with one voice
I am, you are, we are Australian