Anzac memory lives on

Thousands of patriotic Australians have made their way to Gallipoli in Turkey, to honour the memory of the men who died there 95 years ago.

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Back in Australia, tens of thousands of Australians and New Zealanders attended Anzac Day dawn services to commemorate the landing of ANZAC troops at what’s now known as Anzac Cove.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was one of many gathered at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on an increasingly important day for many Australians.

In Sydney, thousands stood at the Cenotaph in Martin Place for a minute’s silence, the playing of The Last Post and a wreath-laying ceremony, undeterred by the rain.

While the number of World War Two veterans is fast diminishing, the crowd in Melbourne was one of the largest in years at the Shrine of Remembrance south of the Yarra.

It was a similar story in Adelaide, where our political leaders were told the state has an enduring and inescapable obligation to care for servicemen and women, not only during but also after their active service.

In Brisbane, many young people were among around 10 thousand who paid their respects to fallen servicemen and women at the city’s Anzac Square just before dawn.

In Hobart too, Tasmanians were urged to remember all those who’ve sacrificed their tomorrow, for our today, so we may live with freedom, peace and justice.

In Darwin, Aboriginal servicemen, border security personnel and the families of soldiers serving here and overseas, received special mention at a sombre dawn service.

But while many remember, others lament the enduring, even growing significance of Anzac Day in Australia.

A group of academics have this year released ‘What’s Wrong With Anzac?’, in which the pushing of the militarisation of Australian history is criticised, not least due to the detrimental consequences for other social, sexual, racial and economic struggles.

The authors go as far as saying the Anzac myth is even contrived by those in power.

Be that as it may, the events continue to be of real significance to many Australians

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Anzac Day has been marred by the deaths of three airmen in an Iroquois military helicopter crash on its way to a flypast over Wellington.