As Americans observe Memorial Day Cee asks us to share our thoughts on holidays.
Every country in the world has lost men and women in some kind of Armed Forces. When does your country celebrate or mourn their deaths? (Optional)
Our special day is ANZAC Day which is the 25th of April every year. This date commemorates the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli in 1915.
The Gallipoli campaign is considered by many to be where Australia came of age as a nation. This excerpt was taken from an educational website. http://www.forteachersforstudents.com.au/site/themed-curriculum/anzac-day/facts/
Of all the events in Australia’s history, the battle at Gallipoli in World War I stands out as having defined the spirit of our nation.
Although Gallipoli represents different things to different people, the story of the ANZACs who fought at Gallipoli is one of perseverance and courage in the face of failure and despair.
After four months of training in Egypt, the ANZAC troops left for Gallipoli. At dawn on 25 April 1915 they landed at a beach now known as ANZAC Cove. The landing was nightmarish; the beach was at the bottom of a steep slope, meaning that the ANZACs had a tough and dangerous struggle to climb up the beach as the well-organised Turkish troops rained shells and gunfire down onto them from the top of the cliff.
Here is the failure and the legend of the ANZACs: they had landed in the wrong position. They had meant to land on a flat beach where they would have had a better chance of reaching the shore to attack enemy troops.
Instead, the ANZACs and the Turkish troops reached a deadlock, with neither able to take any new ground for months. The ANZACs began evacuating on 20 December 1915. The Australians had spent only eight months in Gallipoli, but in this short time had suffered 25,000 casualties, including 8700 deaths.
The bravery and endurance of Australian troops in the face of death is what turned this horrific event into a legend that has helped to shape our country.
ANZAC day is always observed on the correct date and begins with dawn services both large and small all over the country, Returned Services League clubs will host breakfasts and reunion lunches and veterans march to their local War Memorial for another service mid morning. I have written a post about the day which you can read here.
Australians also observe Remembrance Day every 11 November but this is not a public holiday, rather a time when we stop and remember the fallen from all wars.
What is your favorite holiday or holidays?
Without a doubt it is Christmas. I love all the rituals associated with it. Both Naomi and I love putting up the Christmas tree and decorating it, wrapping presents and baking our favourite Christmas goodies to eat over the holiday period.
How do you celebrate that holiday?
Christmas falls in summer time in Australia and when we lived in Adelaide where it is much hotter Christmas Day usually meant a cold lunch if the temperature was going to climb high. Lunch would often be out-of-doors in someone’s garden possibly cooked on the barbecue. After lunch if it was not too hot the more energetic family members might go for a walk.
Of course I live in another state now so family get-togethers have been replaced with phone calls but Naomi and I try to spend the day together. We cook a nice meal, open our presents and our pets presents from under the tree, watch Christmas movies on television and play board games.