Anzac Spirit Shines Through - Web Blog - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fan blogs

Anzac Spirit Shines Through

This year as the nation pauses to commemorate Anzac Day sadly there will be those who attempt to question its relevance.

In questioning the relevance of Anzac Day you are merely demeaning yourself by failing to credit courage and are misunderstanding the very basis of Anzac Day. The 25th of April has become a sacred, unifying day, imprinting a unique perspective on the deep personal bonds that link the Australian community to its history and achievement as a nation.

Anzac Day is an enduring memorial to all the wartime sacrifices of a nation whose coming of age was bathed in the blood, tears, misery, heroism and mateship of Gallipoli. The way the Anzacs responded to the deadly predicament in which they found themselves in during the Gallipoli campaign, their improvisation, mateship and courage became the stuff of legend.

The displays of grief and triumph witnessed across the nation in Anzac Day parades, prayers and reunions and in the consistent strength of observance are all indicative of the unifying qualities and the overall relevance of the Anzac legend to modern day Australia.

On Anzac Day we pause to think about our good fortune to live in a nation without fear or threat. As Australians we also have a lot to be proud of, but we should also have great humility to accept that much of what we enjoy was made possible by the men and women who defended our nation so convincingly in the past.

Anzac Day in its modern form is seen as a time of remembrance and gratitude to those who helped to keep our country free from invasion and our way of life free of choice; to acknowledge our debt to their mothers, wives and children, and our obligation to those who through their sacrifice now need our help.

Beyond this we have a responsibility that the heritage bought at so costly a price should not suffer in our hands and that the word ANZAC does not so much commemorate an event as a standard of character in action which we must maintain in all circumstances – in peace as in war.

Today, 87 years after the Gallipoli landing claimed the lives of thousands of Australian soldiers, we see Anzac Day as a reference point in the searching for identity. The nation as a whole recognizes the timeless marchers from all wars and understands that Anzac Day should always be theirs.

The more we see of the Anzac’s letters and pictures, the more we learn in their own words how much they resemble us: mostly just average people, mostly young, out to make their mark on the world. This inclusiveness has helped attract more people, and especially the young, who can draw strength from knowing the diggers were just like them.

The spirit of the ANZACs: comradeship, courage, mateship and sacrifice is that which is being preserved at any cost in Australia as a fundamental way of bringing the nation together. The 25th of April evokes a deep and widely shared compulsion to immortalize the fallen, year after year, because in the Anzacs can be found the model and inspiration for the nation’s own self-esteem.

Anzac Day, the ideals and the sacrifice for which it stands, has become an enormous source of national pride. The march is a constant reminder of the glorious deeds of the Anzacs, as a warning against war and the great toll that it takes on humanity, and most importantly as a sacred unifying force.

The Spirit of ANZAC was suggested by official war historian C.E.W. Bean to have 'stood, and still stands, for reckless valour in a good cause, for enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship and endurance that will never own defeat.'

The Spirit was epitomized in the deeds of Simpson with his donkey at Gallipoli - comradeship, courage and sacrifice: others before self. It also encompasses the laughter, the pride and the love of life that is in every Australian. At Gallipoli, men from all backgrounds and classes from the newly federated Australia created the essence of what it means to be Australian - courage under fire, grace under pressure, giving a hand to a mate.

The Anzac tradition - the ideals of courage, endurance and mateship that are still relevant today was established on 25 April 1915 when the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

It was the start of a campaign that lasted eight months and resulted in some 25,000 Australian casualties, including 8,700 who were killed or died of wounds or disease.

The men who served on the Gallipoli Peninsula created a legend, adding the word ‘Anzac’ to the Australian and New Zealand vocabularies and creating the notion of the Anzac spirit.

But the Spirit of ANZAC is not confined to the battlefield. It lives in the schools, on the sports fields, in fact all over this bloody great country of ours!

Davis Cup Tennis is perhaps one of the best examples of this. To compare the Australian Davis Cup team with the Anzacs would appear to be, and in fact is quite inappropriate. The Anzacs lost their lives defending their country whereas tennis players will always play another day regardless of whether they win or lose. However, it is the actual spirit with which our boys play Davis Cup that is so Anzac-like.

Anzac Spirit is alive and well when Newk ‘draws a line in the sand’ or when he won’t let the players leave the court “unless there’s blood all over it!”

There is no doubt that Anzac Spirit is burning brightly in the hearts of all Australian Davis Cup team members, none more so than Lleyton Hewitt. A better man has never stood in a pair of Davis Cup Dunlop Volleys! The way Hewitt pumps his fist on his pharlap-like heart whilst screaming at the Fanatics to “C’MON AUSTRALIA!!” is perfect evidence of this.

The little Aussie battler oozes Anzac Spirit!

We, the Fanatics are also a crucial part of the Anzac Spirit that shines through in Davis Cup.

Just like the Anzacs were, the Fanatics are passionate and patriotic Australians who love to support their countrymen and women. We come together as one from all corners of this bloody great country of ours to lend our support and fly Australia’s flag boldly in the breeze!

Just like Banjo Paterson wrote in a letter to the troops in 1915 “We’re not state children anymore...We’re all Australians now!”

The Spirit of ANZAC is not something we can see but a powerful driving sensation that can only be felt. It is a feeling that burns in the hearts of every Australian. It is a warm, tender, fiery, even melancholy ideal that nurtures intense patriotism in the innermost soul of every body.

It is this very spirit, the Spirit of ANZAC that we as Fanatics should continue to embrace!
Tue 22/03/2005 Andrew Ledger 450 views

5 Comments about this article

  • Sensational article Ledge.

    Posted by Warren Livingstone Fri Apr 26, 2002 12:06am AEST
  • awesome article - gave me goosebumps!

    Posted by Sue Keen Mon Apr 29, 2002 01:38pm AEST
  • Nice Article Ledge, Very Touching! Australia kicks ass!!! Cant wait till i return!

    Posted by Beth Hale Tue Apr 30, 2002 10:22am AEST
  • Great article - I would like to know if this feeling is present in New Zealand, as it is in most Australians.

    Posted by Rendle Williams Wed May 08, 2002 08:28am AEST
  • WELL.....what can I say, Bloody well written. I am a 38 year young average Ozzy Bloke, who would love to stand shoulder to shoulder with a group of Fanatics at Anzac Cove on April the 25th at 0500hr. Now that would be something to remember

    Posted by Michael Campbell Wed Feb 18, 2004 04:10am AEST

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.