Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Tim Beveridge: A couple of thoughts about Anzac Day

A couple of thoughts about Anzac Day – which as we know is the day of remembrance specifically for the soldiers who fought and died in the Gallipoli campaign during World War I.

Over time, of course it has come to represent more than just the Gallipoli campaign, and it has become an increasingly important day for both Australia and New Zealand. I would argue —for New Zealand— possibly it has become the country's most important national day.

It is the day that brings the nation together, with services and parades held in cities and towns throughout the country.

It is also a day when New Zealanders from all walks of life, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity, come together to remember and honour those who have served and sacrificed for their country. I can’t think of any other time of the year where it feels, quite as much as it does on Anzac Day, that we are all on the same page.

We’re in a time where often so much of our political discourse and social media is so tribal. Arguments seem to be about finding someone else to blame for your troubles, and what do we get, and what the government owes me. Perhaps Anzac is a refreshing reminder to consider those who gave everything in defence of what they valued and what they thought was worth fighting for.

I recently spent an evening at a fundraiser with a community out at Muriwai, and I was in awe of the time commitment that they had put in to making a difference in their community.

So I wonder if today, in addition to celebrating and remembering the sacrifice of our countrymen and women, it’s also a time to take a breath and use the moment to ask a question of each of ourselves:

What are we each doing, to make a difference, to actually contribute to society and the well-being of our country, our fellow New Zealanders?

Are we taking a moment to consider improving the lives of others or not?

Maybe that is one of the opportunities or lessons that Anzac Day gives us - to take a moment to stop and think beyond our own worlds and realise how lucky we are for the sacrifices of others.

And as for the lessons of history, you don’t have to look too far in the news to see examples of why we should never be complacent around the freedoms we enjoyed as a result of the sacrifices of others who went before us.

As they say:


Tim is a musician who co-hosts several shows on Newstalk ZB, has worked for a couple of years as a barrister and solicitor in his home town of Rotorua. This article was first published HERE


Anonymous said...

I went to the dawn service in Wellington and as usual my favourite observation is the cross section of people who constitute our real New Zealand. No suits or uniforms (apart from officials), no bosses, just families and people remembering a difficult but meaningful time in our history.
On RNZ website last night I spotted an article about Anzac day and after two paragraphs covering WWI and WWII the next paragraph launched into the New Zealand Wars with the compulsory mention of colonialism. I couldn't read it for the distate I felt. Looking for it today it seems to have been pulled down.
Yes RNZ, you do overstep the mark by disrespecting the spirit of Anzac day. And we don't appreciate the continued drivel that is trying to divide us, especially on Anzac Day which is when we do actually come together!

Robert Arthur said...

Anzac no longer has the effect of pulling all together. The preponderance of maori twaddle has the opposite effect on me. My relative who volunteered and died would likely have hesitated if they had known where NZ was headed, or tried for occupations other then aircrew where death was near certain.

Anonymous said...

The so called Land Wars were about Maori who realised they had given up their rights of conquest - brutal destruction of other tribes and seizure of their land. Ugly. While war is forever a contentious subject ANZAC Day in my opinion is an extraordinary reminder both of those who have died ( for example soldiers and German Jews) AND of the fundamental need to question if war is necessary, honest and the ultimate only choice.

Robert Arthur said...

In my above, relative should be plural. (been subject to too much singular only te reo)