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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Anzac Day in Oz


Ozzie

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To give some idea to others on the forum, of the growing interest in Anzac Day in Australia.

25,000 attended the dawn service in Sydney with large crowds in Brisbane and Melbourne as well. I have not seen reports on WA as they are several hours behind the East Coast.

The Morning Commerations and marches are about to start( 9am) and each state will telecast it's capital city's march and thousands are expected to attend. As well, every country town will have it's own commeration.

As a friend of mine will be marching with the 8th LH colours in Melbourne I will sign off so I can watch. I live to far away to attend, but am there in spirit.

Lest We Foret.

Kim

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I have just got back from our local suburban commemoration, to which we welcomed a group of young people from New South Wales, apparently part of the Returned Servicemen's league Youth group, who are touring NZ . Also one American soldier from Iraq! as well as a couple of hundred locals.

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I went to the Dawn Service in Fremantle and it was the biggest crowd in recent memory. Also heard initial reports that there were 35,000 at the dawn service at Kings Park in Perth.

The Anzac Day march in Fremantle was well attended as it was the first time in 40 years that it has taken place, plus the march in Perth went off well apparently.

106 year old Peter Casserley, the last Western Australian WW1 veteran was going to lead the march.

Also the Anzac Day display at the Fremantle Town Hall has been very well attended. (Just taking my lunch break as I have another 6 hours to go yet:)

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I did go to ANZAC Day in NZ, but I have always prefered the low key rural commemorations to the major centres.

Anyway, I watched a NZ documentary about ANZAC day and how it has changed throughout the years and was impressed to see black and white footage of a scruffy student type Vietnam protester getting a few good whacks by an elderly gentleman wearing a WW1 trio. I wonder where the protester is today, and I hope he recognised himself last night.

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Hello

It is great to hear about the growing numbers attending the ANZAC Day commerations, this may be due to the current situation in Iraq, but not being in touch with Australian or New Zealnder public opinion, cannot really comment..............

One quick question, is ANZAC Day a public holiday or a normal working day?

Cheers

Mark

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Anzac Day has been growing for the last few years. It seems as the old diggers passed away the interest got stronger. There have also been quite a few good books released in the last couple of years, which may of helped. I don't know if any one can put their finger on exactly why Anzac day is growing but with crowds of 250,000 quoted for the crowd to watch the Sydney march it gives you some idea. The other point is that as the veterans pass on some of their children and grandchildren are marching in their place. So now a younger generation are taking an interest in our military history.

Anzac Day is a public Holiday in Australia.

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"Anzac Day is a public Holiday in Australia"

I think that the last line of Ozzie's excellent summary of what is happening in Australia gives a very prominent reason why so many attend the commerations, parades etc for ANZAC Day. As those Pals who have read some of my previous posts are aware, I am of the opinion that November 11th or May 8th should be a Public Holiday in the British Isles (incidently, in France, where both days are "holidays", I understand the attendance at events is very high). I can remember that in 1995, when the government of the day in the UK decided to have May 8th as a public holiday (admittedly in place of may 1st) that "public interest" in remembrance suddenly increased & has continued to remain larger than the years before this.

It is simple, if people are encouraged to feel that certain days are of such importance that they are declared public holidays many more will (be able to) take part in any events staged & it will easier to organise too. I applaud the Australians for giving such precedence to remembering one of the greatest days in their history.................

Cheers

Mark

(stepping off my soapbox & returning to work, please don't tell the Boss!!!!)

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