McKenna, Mark & Stuart Ward: ‘It was really moving, mate’

Mark McKenna & Stuart Ward

“It was really moving, mate”: The Gallipoli pilgrimage and sentimental nationalism in Australia‘, Australian Historical Studies, 38, 129, 2007, pp. 141-51

Commences with a picture of Australian tourists in Turkey and their reaction to visiting Gallipoli. Hence the quote in the title. The authors go on:

Like pilgrims to Jerusalem or Lourdes, the Australians are “moved” to tears at the sight of holy ground, the place where the sacred stories of Anzac began. They believe that their emotional response is immediate, elicited by the sight of Australian gravestones (the sprigs of wattle placed carefully at their feet) and the sudden realisation of so many young lives lost. It is as if all prior knowledge of Gallipoli counted for nothing when weighed against the experience of “being there”… Remarkably, few pilgrims pause to ask themselves whether their profound emotional investment in the Anzac legend is discovered “on site” or brought with them from Australia. (p. 141)

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