Brissenden, Michael: Should Anzac Day inspire more than just fervour?

Michael Brissenden

Should Anzac Day inspire more than just fervour?’ ABC The Drum, 25 April 2013

Includes 100 comments showing a wide spectrum of views. Quotes Clare Wright, historian, that ‘Anzac Day has grown in appeal in inverse proportion to the confidence about our common identity’. Notes the growth in interest during the Howard era 1996-2007. ‘But it was Bob Hawke who first saw the potential in hitching his political narrative to the heroism of Anzac Cove. In 1990 – the 75th anniversary – he took a group of surviving Anzac veterans to the dawn service at Gallipoli.’

The author concludes:

It’s clear now that Anzac Day has grown to become our most important commemorative day. But is that in itself enough? Should it also spark more of a national conversation? And shouldn’t we at least try and invest the day with what historians like Clare Wright call “historical authenticity”?

Along with the mass patriotic sentiment, the huge crowds and even the football grudge matches the day now inspires, some are still searching for more.

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