“What is ANZAC day all about?” we asked our Australian colleagues Al and Chloe this morning. We often ask them to explain something that seems foreign to us when we encounter something about the country we don’t understand. We were trying to figure out what the spirit of ANZAC day is. Does it commemorate a historic sacrifice by ordinary men for some extraordinary goal?
Though we like being irreverent, we have, like everyone else in the modern world, become sensitized about saying things that offend other people or make them “uncomfortable.” We don’t want to be accused of hate speech or anything. Still, we had to just come out with the question as bluntly as we could to see if we were getting thing wrong.
“So let’s see if we have this straight. ANZAC day celebrates the fact that a fully independent Australia happily went to the defense of the British Empire and sacrificed thousands of its best and brightest young man to the inept strategies of Britain’s generals? Is that about right? Are we missing something?”
Al and Chloe assured us that there is an acknowledgement of the absurdity of the sacrifice in the unofficial ANZAC mythology. We hope they are right…
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