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The Anzac Spirit

By Bailey Compton 24 April 2024

War is never good! It is the government-sanctioned breaking of the primary commandment “Thou shalt not kill”. It is often described as a thing that is created by old men for young men to fight. Worst, those of us who are left behind, who have lost a family member, can see no benefit. It is however the one thing that catches the hearts and minds universally.

Through all the grief, sadness and loss, there is good that emerges from a crisis. War throws up great leaders. Look at Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine. Once a comedian, now a worldwide acclaimed leader. There are other great leaders like Churchill, Roosevelt, Curtin, who demonstrate great leadership in the face of incredible odds.

Above all, war develops and promotes a nation’s spirit. The ANZAC Legend is such an example.

Australia was only 14 years old when the first World War broke out. The troops of Australia and New Zealand merged to become the ANZACs. This same group defended the Pacific and fought in Europe during the second World War. These were volunteers, not conscripts. They fought because it was important.

As said by the author G.K. Chesterton, “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”

Many people have said to me that Australia lacks culture. This is because they don’t buy into the true culture of this country. Mateship.

From the ANZACs came the concept of mateship, “standing by your mates when in a fight”. Australians are renowned for coming together in crisis to help each other, whether it be fire, flood, or war.

Take the recent incident in Westfield Bondi Junction. Australians stood in the way of a knife-wielding maniac to protect people they didn’t know, used whatever they could to redirect the killer, and an inspector of police put her life on the line to protect all members of the public. Evidence of mateship.

Mateship is still here. Evolved from the ANZACs and implemented by local heroes.

Enjoy your ANZAC Day, remember all heroes who have lost out, and look after your mates.