Study finds 45.6 per cent of Australians won’t commemorate ANZAC Day

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For Australians, ANZAC Day is traditionally a time of reverence and reflection of the diggers who fought in The Great War. It’s an important day where we admire the courage and self-sacrifice of those who have defended our country. However, a recent study shows that almost half the population don’t plan to commemorate it this year.

The study, conducted by online research group Lightspeed GMI, shows that only 54.4 per cent of Australians plan to commemorate ANZAC Day this year. And, although this number is lower than most people would have expected, the ones who do mark this special day in our history, will do so with deep reverence.

australian soldiers stand at attention

For 83.6 per cent of those who choose to mark ANZAC Day, it’s a time to remember those brave soldiers and service personnel – both men and women – who have fallen in battle, with just over a third of that number specifically paying respects to loved ones who have fought for Australia at some stage, and around a quarter using the day to remember a loved one who fought for another country.

Another 12.9 per cent of Australians see the ANZAC Day simply as a day off work.

Of those who choose to celebrate ANZAC Day, the top three ways to observe the day include, in order, celebrating with family, attending a dawn service and spending time with friends. Surprisingly, the traditional ANZAC Day march and reunions with friends and comrades did not receive a mention in the top three.

aussie digger at anzac day service

Only 6.5 per cent plan to partake in ‘two-up’, the game traditionally played on ANZAC Day to mark a shared experience with diggers throughout the ages, indicating that the day is seen more as a time of reflection and not so much as a day for playing.

Perhaps surprisingly, many Australians are divided over how ANZAC Day should work as a public holiday. Last year, some states were denied the public holiday because ANZAC Day fell on the Saturday. When asked what they thought of this, 52.9 per cent of those surveyed agreed that it was okay, whilst 47.1 per cent disagreed. When asked why they came to this decision, those who agreed said: “ANZAC Day is about taking the time to remember the fallen, if it falls over a weekend you don’t need a day off as you already have the time.”

Whilst those who disagreed said: “ANZAC Day, after Australia Day, is the most significant day in our calendar – a public holiday is fitting. After all we have [a] public holiday for the Queen’s Birthday, [and] that no longer has any meaning for Australians.”

The study also found that the words most commonly associated with ANZAC Day are ‘remembering’, ‘respect’ and ‘national heritage’.

How do you commemorate ANZAC Day? Do you still feel that ANZAC Day is relevant? If 25 April falls on a weekend, should we have a public holiday in lieu? Do you believe such commemorations merely glorify war in an already violent world?

Read more at The Daily Mail

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 48
  1. 0

    Already commemorated ANZAC Day at an Aged Care facility we volunteer at – this ANZAC Service and also Remembrance Day means so much to these dear people, and you can see
    the reverence and pride they hold for it. Means a lot to us too as we remember my dad who served on the front line in Burma and other family members who served.
    We definitely need to keep up these times of remembrance and I do think many of today’s youngsters agree. Good to see quite a few Schools still holding their ANZAC Services.

    • 0

      So true Troubadour, if the powers that be had to go and fight THEIR wars– there would be no wars either as they would not have the guts that they expect our men to have

  2. 0

    If there were no soldiers, there would be no wars.

    I will use it as a day to try to forget the years of bullying at the hands of Army Officers as a civilian defence worker, tasked (at personal risk) with ensuring their explosive ordnance was safe for the big brave soldiers to use to kill people.

    I supposed I will be vilified by the war-mongers for making this comment, but that is one of the freedoms that we have which disappear when controlled by the military.

    • 0

      I am inclined to agree with you Hawkeye. If ANZAC day prevented wars then OK. I became a pacifist due to hearing about WW2 so very often from my father who was left with untreated PTSD.

    • 0

      What a ridiculously stupid inane thing to say (If there were no soldiers, there would be no wars) It’s about as sensible as saying ‘If we had no sun we wouldn’t have melanomas. Most human beings, by their nature exhibit greed which would result in a more populous nation overwhelming by sheer weight of numbers a less settled nation.

      And last time I had the radio on, I could see that this nation, Australia, is controlled by an elected Parliament.

      And you could say I am biased, I am a former soldier.

    • 0

      It’s not about causing war – it’s about honouring those who sacrificed and some of whom continue to do so.

      There will always be wars, and no amount of caring, no matter how genuine, will ever put a stop to it, so the only way to deal with that constant possibility is to be as prepared as possible.

      I have one son and a daughter neither of whom I want to serve actively, and am also an ex-soldier, but I hope I retain a balanced view of the realities. I would rather they be as prepared as possible than be caught napping.

      Anyway – this has nothing to do with remembering the fallen and those who suffer on.

      As a final note, we don’t do ANZAC Day in my home…. for a number of reasons – though I attend the services and have a drink with the boys.. and girls these days.

    • 0

      Idontfoget, I, too, am an ex-Serviceman, and selfish, mindless comments like the ones above from Hawkeye and Jennie absolutely disgust me! People have DIED to preserve their freedom and they print comments like they have! Thankless, selfish airheads!!

    • 0

      I have different politics to you fast Eddie but have to agree with you on this one to me it is a matter of respect to these brave men that I attend a small Anzac service to thank them that I am where I am today.
      Not sure if I would have had the guts to fight like these soldiers.

  3. 0

    I observe ANZAC day to remember my Grandfather who was wounded on the Somme and my Dad who was imprisoned by the Japanese. I think one of the reasons that its importance is falling is that Australia now has a population with nearly 30% born overseas. IT has little meaning for them. 60% of Australians are now also only second generation so has little meaning for them as well.

  4. 0

    Thank the past soldiers for you not having Japanese or German as a daily language, and thank the present active soldiers for fighting so that you don’t have a future language that sounds like a pig flatulating in the mud. Don’t forget, Lest We Forget!

  5. 0

    its just a day off for most people . i am more into rememberance day 11am /11th day /11th month. that remembers the british.

    • 0

      tisme, it is NOT “just a day off for MOST people” and that is a terrible, thankless, selfish thing to say. Loads of people have died to preserve freedom as we here know it and for you to say what you have borders on the sacrilegious. You don’t have to tell anyone, the way you have, what day Rememberance Day is as anyone with half a brain and a HEART knows that. You sound like a Pommie, and, if so, at least show a bit of respect by using a B in your british. I can’t believe someone can be so thankless for their freedom as you are!

    • 0

      tisme, feel free to remember the British on ANZAC day, plenty of them died on the same beachs.
      I was born in England and served in the Australian Army, there is room to honour all soldiers who put their lives om hold to fight for their loved ones and country.

  6. 0

    I will always commemorate ANZAC Day – which should always be on the 25th April as it is not just an excuse for the public holiday. My granddaughter attended school in Ballarat and they have a memorial in the front of their school and services are always held there. So many young people are now commemorating this special day. I would like to know how many and where were people asked their opinion for this pole as the usual small numbers polled do not necessarily speak for the majority. Barbara Johnstone

  7. 0

    I don’t agree with celebrating anzac day. Seems to me like glorifying war, and why would we celebrate a defeat? That war had nothing to do with Australia, apart that we obeyed our colonial masters and were used as cannon fodder. Doesn’t make any sense to me, better to forget and remember some heroic moments in our history.

    • 0

      ANZAC Day is not to celebrate a defeat, it’s an opportunity to pay your respects to those who lost their lives so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. And I’m really not sure how you can say it was “nothing to do with Australia” when so many of our people answered the call and never returned. And so it continues to this day – if Australia is attacked, we would hope that the links we’ve forged with other countries like USA, UK, etc would see them come to our aid, as we did for them in the two world wars and since. United we stand, Franky – divided we fall. Lest we forget!

    • 0

      Franky, frankly you got it all wrong, big time. The day is to give thanks and honour to those who served to protect our freedom, liberty, and democracy, even though the politicians are trying to take the last (our political rights) from us.

    • 0

      Franky, the fact that we are honouring soldiers that were involved in a defeat demonstrates that we are not glorifying war.
      I have been attending ANZAC ceremonys ever since I was a cadet at twelve years old and have not witnessed one incident of wars being glorified.
      I have marched as an adult and spent time with real heroes who actually fought in wars who would always say “I wasn’t a heroe but I served with some”. I have not met one veteran who ever tried to glorify war, to my mind those who served and looked after the man next to them showed heroism.
      The way the soldiers of all nations conducted themselves during sustained attack and deprivation on the beaches of Turkey showed true heroism, maybe more so than men who managed to distinguish themselves for short periods in the heat of battle.
      I mean no disrespect to those who have done the latter, but most historians would agree that there was nothing more soul and morale destroying than trench warfare in the first world war.
      As to providing cannon fodder, yes that’s what many Australians, New Zealanders, Indians, British and others were on that and many fronts. But that was how war was fought in those times there was no conspiracy against any one race, they all took their turn and they all faced death.
      And remember all of the ANZACS that Australia sent to that front were volunteers they were not plucked of the street by colonial masters and forced to go.

  8. 0

    The Anzac celebrations were packed in my local area last year. Old and young people at the dawn service. In fact, I think there has been a resurgence. When I was a teenager, I think it was mostly old people and there was talk that celebrating Anzac Day would die out altogether. As well there are not many immigrants where I live.

  9. 0

    Haweye you seem a bit bitter and twisted about your work experience. It is a shame that you obviously had bad experiences with some bosses. ” If there were no soldiers, there would be no wars.” Nobody wants to lay their life on the line, but the few have still do so that you can feel free to write your comments. Do you think the average Aussie Soldier wants to be forced to kill people. That so many suffer mental illness when they come home as the result of being in these situations speaks for itself. Sure you might be vilified by the few in replying to your thoughts, but that is democracy, which is incidentally is only possible by being defended by our Countries Military.

    And to Tisme I refute your statement “Its just a day off for most people!” The numbers of people who get up at 4:15 am to attend at 6 am Dawn Services and later stand on the road cheering on past Service Persons at the ANZAC Marches, in all kinds of weather is an argument against your statement.

    Count your blessings that you were not engaged in these Wars.

    • 0

      Allyfleaau, what a great post and response especially to someone who took umbrage to having a bad experience. Sheesh. I was in the RAAF for 12 years, did not go to Vietnam but came close. I think we forget the historical significance of WW1. It was a war of colonial expansion within the European continent just like other wars going back as far as the Romans. It was a catalyst for many changes in many society’s. It transformed all of Europe into a better place, ended fuedalism(Refer Downton Abbey), it freed the Russians from the tyranny of the Czars and opened up many nations in Europe that still exist today. Unfortunately many millions died, the downside of freedom and prosperity.

    • 0

      Jolly, you seem to be the personification of all that is wrong with the celebration of ANZAC Day.
      You talk about the war as if it was actually a good thing. Then, almost as just a footnote, you mention “Unfortunately many millions died”
      I really think you need to sort out your priorities mate.

  10. 0

    Let those who don’t wish to attend not do so – let the rest do as they wish. I would prefer that this year there be no more of the disgusting activities of a few who seek to intrude into and cause trouble for this day of Remembrance. Some of these are ex-Service with an axe to grind and a ‘my dog is bigger than yours’ attitude…. ain’t no such thing.

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