To the perception of many Australians, the ANZAC spirit is a fundamental component to Australian identity but what is more it has been a moral example in which many Australians still commend on. The ANZAC spirit has presented itself in modern day Australia through its respected qualities such as pride and persistence and should manifest these values in the future to come, not necessarily through war but through the intentions of building a better nation.
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The ANZAC spirit is relevant to life in Australia today as it has embedded pride in the values of Australians. Since the beginning of the ANZAC spirit, pride has been moulded within Australian soldiers especially during crucial times such as World War One, when the ANZACs were appointed one of their first major official battles in Gallipoli. Pride to their mother country Britain was important, it was crucial to Australians that they protected and supported Britain to the furthest extent thus the total 416,808 enlistments of Australian soldiers in World War One.
The ANZACs saw this pride to their mother country as motivation to strike and defend the best they could in battles even if it meant putting their lives on the line. By the end of World War One, 166,811 of Australians have been wounded and 58,961 dead making Australia the highest casualty rate of the war, in proportion to its total embarkations. The ANZACs have also showed much pride in World War Two when fighting the Axis except this time; it was towards their own nation, Australia.
The ANZACs had to take pride in their own nation and terminate their heavy support in Britain’s wars so that they can focus on fighting the Japanese in Kokoda and prevent them from reaching Australian soil. This strengthened the connection between Australia’s national identity and the ANZAC spirit as the ANZACs took pride in fighting in a war for the sake of their nation’s safety and Australia was starting to be seen as a powerful and independent nation.
The ANZAC spirit was not confined to the battlefield as many women in the home front went out of their way to support the soldiers and show the ANZAC pride in them in World War Two. Some took up the vacant employment spaces in factories and agriculture after the men left for war to stabilise the economy and others involved themselves in the war by being nurses in the Red Cross and war artists and writers.
Pride is a strong value in the ANZAC spirit and it is of great importance not only to soldiers but to the people in the home front. Along with pride comes with the value of persistence in the ANZAC spirit and it has not only been a survival instinct to soldiers but also a sense of motivation during wars. If it had not been for the great persistence in the ANZAC spirit, the death toll of Australians soldiers might have been higher especially with the lives of P.O.W’s, also known as Prisoners of War.
Over 22,000 Australians were captured by the Japanese and made into prisoners of war in South East Asia. The numbers have been the highest in Singapore as 14,972 Australians were held in captive there. Sgt Jack O’Donnell was an Australian soldier held as a prisoner of war in Singapore in 1942. In his diary he described the lack of food issued such as when he said “Most of the lads are now suffering in some form or other from malnutrition and lack of vitamins.
Personally speaking I find it extremely hard to move one leg after the other these days,” and the diseases that spread when he claimed that, “Dysentery became a real plague. At one stage we had over four hundred alone with it,” Fortunately due to his strong persistence as an Australian soldier, he survived and on 18 September 1944 he was on his way back home. Persistence also acted as motivation for ANZACs during World War One and World War Two.
In World War One, Gallipoli ended badly for the ANZACs. Even though the ANZACs held very little advantage in Gallipoli due to their enemy’s geographical position, their endeavours to overtake the Turkish army and withstand enemy fire showed their persistence to the service no matter how bad the situation was.
The battle between the ANZACs and the Japanese in the Kokoda Track highlighted the ANZACs’ persistence which brought them to victory. After being pushed back by the Japanese at times, the ANZACs did not give up and continued to advance towards the Japanese in order to secure them from Port Moresby.
They managed to exhaust the Japanese before the Japanese could defeat them despite the adversities they had to overcome such as travelling through the steep and intricate Kokoda trail and having inexperienced militia soldiers. In difficult times, the ANZACs have used persistence as motivation to overcome obstacles.
The ANZAC spirit still exists due to its values Australians are proud of. The ANZAC spirit still exists on the fact that it is a useful resource for the future to come. It carries values such as pride and persistence that can be employed for building a better community within the nation and for benefiting Australia as a whole.
Pride is important as it is fundamental basis for building up a nation just like how pride in the ANZAC spirit has built up Australia as an independent nation. In the future, pride in the ANZAC spirit can be passed on through aspects such as sports, when sportsmen and sportswomen dedicate their life to represent their country.
It is similar as to when Australian soldiers dedicate their lives to protect their country. They hold the same concept because they both benefit Australia as a nation. Persistence comes as an important value in these aspects too as it acts as a sense of motivation, sportsmen and sportswomen would not have the strength to represent their country without persistence and perseverance.
In the future, Australians should embed the values pride and persistence in them just like how the ANZACs have in order to develop Australia into a better nation.
Through many battles such as Gallipoli and the Kokoda Track and also the home front, the ANZAC spirit has shown persistence and pride. Pride in the ANZAC spirit has become one of Australia’s building blocks to developing a nation of independence and strength.
Persistence has given ANZACs motivation and acted as a survival instinct. These values in the ANZAC spirit are relevant to life in Australia today as people should grasp the meaning of these values and practise them for the better of the nation and for the future to come.
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