The Spirit of the ANZAC’s - Lest we forget.
Elie Frangi
United Australian Lebanese Movement – UALM

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.” 

What is Anzac Day?
Anzac Day - 25 April - is probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as Anzacs, and the pride they soon took in that name endures to this day.

Why is this day so special to Australians?
When war broke out in 1914 Australia had been a federal commonwealth for only fourteen years. The new national government was eager to establish its reputation among the nations of the world. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the allied navies. The plan was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. They landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months.

At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers were killed. News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in war.

The idea that some sort of "blood sacrifice" was a necessary rite of passage or initiation ceremony in the birth of a nation was common in the late Victorian and Edwardian period. In attempting the daunting task of storming the Gallipoli peninsula the Anzacs created an event which, it was felt, would help to shape the new Australia. 

What does it mean today?
Australians recognise 25 April as an occasion of national commemoration. Commemorative services are held at dawn, the time of the original landing, across the nation. Later in the day ex-servicemen and women meet and join in marches through the major cities and many smaller centres. Commemorative ceremonies are held at war memorials around the country. It is a day when Australians reflect on the many different meanings of war.

The spirit of the ANZAC:
What does it mean you?
What does ANZAC Day Symbolise?
Do you see it as “Just another day off”?
Or, do you actually acknowledge the significant of the day, and pay your respects?

To me, ANZAC day is a day when we remember and commemorate our hero’s, our fallen freedom fighters. We pay tribute to their efforts and bravery. A day when we, as Australians, thank our diggers for fighting for our rights, our freedoms, but most importantly, for fighting to protect this great nation, our nation Australia. As the ode states, the legacy of the ANZAC’s will not grow old, nor will be forgotten. As Australian’s, it is our duty not to forget – Lest We Forgot.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

The spirit of the ANZAC, I believe is in every patriotic Lebanese. The Lebanese who have fought in the war, the Lebanese who fell in the war, the Lebanese who are still stilling fighting the war.

History repeats itself, like in World War One and World War Two where the ANZAC’s fought bravely for our current freedoms and this nations sovereignty, our new soldiers, the students, the future of our Lebanon, are stilling fighting the war. The war for our freedom, our sovereignty and our independence.

Yes, the war of the guns is over, but the war of torture, torment and terrorism is still occurring. The Syrians occupying our Lebanon are now becoming fearful.

A change is inevitable; the freedom of our nation is nearby.

Like the ANZAC’s who fought for our freedoms in Australia, and our current way of life, the true Lebanese will prevail, for we have the passion, the patriotism and the pride of a nation which is as old as time.

Lest We Forget the passion, heroism and the desire of freedom like the ANZAC’s.

May they rest in peace for eternity, and their Legacy lives on for generations to come.
Lest We Forget