ANZAC Day is a national day of pride. A day of pride in the enduring spirit of mateship and ingenuity.
ANZAC Day is not just a day based on the remembering the events of Gallipoli and our lucky escape. It is remembering all the fallen Australians and what they fought for – whether it was the spirit of adventure, the defense of the British Empire or for the defence of the nation. In a way its probably a second rememberance/armistice day.
It is through these bonds of mateship that were long established in Australia before we federated our nation that Australia became what it is today. It was in the days when the country still rode on the sheep’s back, we faced up to the harshness of working the Australian land but we were relatively relaxed because of the great distances involved in travelling from one station to another. We never really rushed unless there was an emergency. This is one of the reasons Australia is so relaxed today. Today it is sometimes referred to laziness but for me that is only for those that don’t understand the genesis of Australia.
Mateship was also defined for me in the war mythos of Australia. My recollecctions are not entirely what they used to be but one such story in I think WWI was the Aussies kept coming, if their leader had been killed, someone else would take charge and if that person was killed then someone else would and so on, all the way down the line.
There are a few that remain that promote that ANZAC Day is about Nationalism but I feel too often they mix up nationalism with patriotism.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines nationalism as: Advocacy of or support for the interests of one’s own nation, esp. to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations. Also: advocacy of or support for national independence or self-determination.”
Patriotism as: 1.The character or passion of a patriot; love of or zealous devotion to one’s country.
2. One who disinterestedly or self-sacrificingly exerts himself to promote the wellbeing of his country; one whose ruling passion is the love of his country; one who maintains and defends his country’s freedom or rights.
As you can see there are distinct differences.