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

A study has found that only 54.4 per cent of Australians plan to commemorate ANZAC Day this year.

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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    COMMENTS

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    Troubadour
    22nd Apr 2016
    10:29am
    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.
    LEST WE FORGET.
    PlanB
    22nd Apr 2016
    1:13pm
    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
    Hawkeye
    22nd Apr 2016
    10:31am
    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.
    Jennie
    22nd Apr 2016
    11:34am
    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.
    Idontforget
    22nd Apr 2016
    11:35am
    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.
    TREBOR
    22nd Apr 2016
    12:36pm
    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.
    Anonymous
    22nd Apr 2016
    1:29pm
    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!!
    Anonymous
    22nd Apr 2016
    1:46pm
    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.
    skydriver
    22nd Apr 2016
    10:47am
    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.
    KB
    25th Apr 2016
    12:30pm
    skydriver all people who served and died and came home wounded are in my prayers today

    22nd Apr 2016
    11:09am
    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!
    ex PS
    27th Apr 2016
    12:35pm
    Amen
    tisme
    22nd Apr 2016
    11:09am
    its just a day off for most people . i am more into rememberance day 11am /11th day /11th month. that remembers the british.
    Anonymous
    22nd Apr 2016
    1:09pm
    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!
    ex PS
    26th Apr 2016
    10:17pm
    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.
    Babs
    22nd Apr 2016
    11:26am
    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
    Franky
    22nd Apr 2016
    11:53am
    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.
    MarLin
    22nd Apr 2016
    12:10pm
    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!
    Anonymous
    22nd Apr 2016
    12:25pm
    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.
    ex PS
    27th Apr 2016
    12:34pm
    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.
    Sundays
    22nd Apr 2016
    11:57am
    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.
    Allyfleaau
    22nd Apr 2016
    12:09pm
    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.
    Jolly
    22nd Apr 2016
    3:40pm
    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.
    Hawkeye
    22nd Apr 2016
    6:04pm
    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.
    TREBOR
    22nd Apr 2016
    12:40pm
    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.
    Sapper
    22nd Apr 2016
    12:47pm
    Check my nom de plume!
    PlanB
    22nd Apr 2016
    1:11pm
    NO I will not be commemorating, after I see all the red poppies at the Palace some time ago and the VERY same day they sent more troops to yet ANOTHER war that was it for me, it proved it was a load of hypocritical BS!
    War makes a lot of money for a LOT of people at the expense of our men and it is proved that once these men give their ALL and are damaged forever the powers that be don't a damn about them and they can die in the street with NO support.
    Join up to defend OUR land and stay out of the wars we have nothing to do with, as it is only making a heap of money for he likes of the USA or for oil or such.

    I remember the ones that gave their lives almost every day, I do not need to glorify it!
    PlanB
    22nd Apr 2016
    1:21pm
    BTW I also lost Friends AND family in BOTH WW1 & WW2

    The last Friend died 6 months ago at the age of 95 he that defended us against the Japs at Kokoda and he couldn't even get a lift chair in his last few months of life from the DVA SCUM!
    Phil1943
    22nd Apr 2016
    1:13pm
    Just because we don't march or attend a march doesn't mean we don't have respect for those who risked their lives and for those who gave their lives in defense of their country. Like many in my generation my life was affected by government-inspired debacles such as Vietnam and Afghanistan. Regardless of how I feel about the politicians who sent young people off to war, I still shed tears for my father and all the others who never came back.
    PlanB
    22nd Apr 2016
    1:22pm
    As do I Phil -- as do I
    Polly Esther
    22nd Apr 2016
    1:34pm
    Australia and New Zealand army corps -- LEST WE FORGET
    Tom Tank
    22nd Apr 2016
    2:09pm
    Anzac Day means different things to different people.
    The reality of Anzac Day is getting lost amidst myths, legends and downright lies. It has been hi-jacked by politicians and businesses trying to get mileage from association with Anzac Day.
    I have for many years been involved with Anzac Day and been to more services and parades than most people.
    I play in a band that plays for those Parades and, as example, I attended one today, Friday, I will be at another one on Sunday and a total of four on Anzac Day itself. I been involved like this for about 50 years now.
    I didn't serve in the military altho' my family has a history of military service and I have a lot of contact with many who did serve back as far as WW2.
    The sad thing is that Anzac Day is changing character and losing a lot of the original intent. It is becoming a sort of a circus which is so sad.
    We get politicians standing up and making speeches and regurgitating the myths that suit their idea of what it is all about, namely themselves. Meanwhile the ones who have come back from serving Australia are getting a really raw deal from Veterans Affairs with regard to proper acceptance of the legacy of their service.
    The numbers of these poor people who have committed suicide, had family breakdowns, committed family violence, living on the streets etc is scandalous. Meanwhile mega-dollars is spent on Celebrating the achievements made in Australia's name by those poor unfortunates.
    They didn't retire with an income of $250,000 a year for life.
    Anzac Day is important but the real importance is being lost.
    Jolly
    22nd Apr 2016
    3:57pm
    Tom Tank, do you know what came out of WW1 and WW2 - Freedom and the ability for the working man to challenge the existing order. Get things done, create causes. You sound like you have many contacts in the area surrounding ANZAC Day. So why not try and start some dialogue with these people and try through that dialogue get some action on the Government do improve Veterans Affairs. I bet that if all those who march in the parade in the city which is televised
    changed the route and suddenly all pulled out banners proclaiming something like Vet Affairs letting down Veterans. I am sure there would be a lot of questions in the media and elsewhere. But it wont happen because we are happy to whinge and complain but take no action because it is harder.
    Tom Tank
    22nd Apr 2016
    4:06pm
    There are groups trying to get something done but they are fighting the Government machine and it is a slow process. Look how long it took to get the Government to accept the effects of Agent Orange.
    Yes WW1 changed the World and in the UK Churchill was kicked out of office after WW2because he refused to move with the times and give the working man a fair go.
    It is still a struggle for ordinary working people to get a fair go as recent events in Australia have shown but I don't want to digress from the topic in hand.
    MD
    22nd Apr 2016
    6:06pm
    Yes Tom Tank, a good deal of your post has merit. To each his/her own is best applied in this instance, you obviously have the courage of your convictions by way of making your contribution and like you (& ex forces) I will pay my respects in my own fashion. Your reference to "a circus" may be a tad over the top however the day does seems to have been hijacked for media purposes - perhaps? All part of our 'education' no doubt. Lest We Forget.
    shirboy
    22nd Apr 2016
    5:15pm
    I cannot attend ANZAC marches because they make me feel so emotional. My father was a Gallipoli & France survivor & my older brother fought in Darwin & New Guinea. The more I learned about the conditions of war the more I hate it. Neither men ever marched & never spoke about what they had been through. Both retained a good sense of humour.
    Desiree
    22nd Apr 2016
    6:52pm
    I am a vet but didn't go to war so don't feel that I deserve to march. Had 5 years in the WRAAC and was disappointed when I got married, I had to leave. My husband on the other hand went to Vietnam and he marches with his mates every year.
    CindyLou
    22nd Apr 2016
    7:57pm
    I don't really appreciate the subtle suggestion and judgement that an individual lacks respect for the ANZACS if the individual does not actively celebrate or do something special in relation to ANZAC day.

    For myself, I'm very mindful 365 days of the year of my grandfathers service in WW1 - this man had poor health immediately following his enlistment, made worse through exposure to dreadful conditions on the western front, he returned to Australia where he later died from the tuberculosis he contracted while serving in the 30th Battalion in France and Belgium.

    So...I am very mindful and very respectful of all servicemen and women, however, I don't specifically do anything special for ANZAC as such - my personal choice.

    In relation to whether celebrating and marking the day glorifies war, I really doubt this, especially given the general understanding of how horrific warfare is.
    CindyLou
    22nd Apr 2016
    8:15pm
    Oops - also I must acknowledge my fathers participation in WW11 - BCOF - many years service in Japan following the end of the war - occupational forces. My father loved to celebrate and meet his BCOF mates at the ANZAC day march in Sydney.

    So yes the day is relevant and is part of our history.
    Funny face
    22nd Apr 2016
    9:26pm
    If Anzac Day " falls" on a weekend, then that is the "day" . No public holiday can " honour enough" what these people have, and still are, doing for us.
    A few years ago I had the privilege of going to gallipoli. And, it was a privilege! Not the service, just the site. At one stage I saw the Turkish cementary ( with Turkish people going in). I asked our guide ( lively woman) if it would be " appropriate" for me to enter and place a little kangaroo on one of the graves. She said, most certainly! They had the utmost respect still for " our fallen". I did so, only a little way in, and just put a little kangaroo there and said " how sorry I was for all of them " ( too myself, not out loud). People just beamed at me! I was looked at with such respect that it was very touching and it still touches me to this day! Why do people still fight? We're all the same! We all bleed! We all love our families ( well, decent, normal people do!). It's nut cases that " take over" minds of whatever century one happens to live in! We should be so grateful to these people! Our debt can never be repaid
    Peter Gillespie
    23rd Apr 2016
    9:00pm
    I am a former member of the RSL and used to regularly attend Anzac parades until the Australian Royal anthem (aka God Save the Queen) was dropped from the Anzac services. The soldiers at Gallipoli died for King and Country, they were monarchists. I consider it an insult to their memories not to acknowledge the monarchy. Can we honour people by denying their values? I think the modern format of the Anzac services is just meaningless PC nonsence.
    Hairy
    25th Apr 2016
    8:41am
    I celebrate Anzac Day my way I'm free to do so because of the men and women who died for that freedom.i remember my father saying all we were son is cannon fodder.the politicians and rich gentry made money from the war and we got thrown on the tip when we came home.the man still marched every year with pride not for mealy mouthed politicians or the top Enders. he marched for his fallen comrades in arms.and I might add am tarred with the same brush and proud of it
    KB
    25th Apr 2016
    12:25pm
    Not at all. I cannot get out due to disability so I watch the ANZAC commemorations at home I lost a great uncle in France so it means more to watch the services from France. There were many more relations who lost their lives in a senseless war. Some young men like my great uncle and his cousins. put up their ages to enlist because they to seek new horizons. 1th of the 11th should be more symbolic where we remember men and women who gave their lives in all wars. I am not undermining ANZAC day .Just that so many men lost their lives in combat that was senseless. Lest We forget
    Justsane
    25th Apr 2016
    1:50pm
    The ABC certainly hasn't forgotton ANZAC Day with 14 hours of ANZAC related programming today.
    Kaz
    27th Apr 2016
    10:52am
    Some miss the point! Lest we forget!
    Gallipoli was absolutely horrific - lest we forget we won't do it again.
    Lest we forget those very young boys who gave us such a strong identity and happy life.
    I don't like war (sorry which person with strong values does) but lucky we have those who believe in protection of those values.
    PlanB
    27th Apr 2016
    10:58am
    Yes but seems we have forgotten the '" LEST WE FORGET" as we still keep going and making more wars -- so we have not learned a bloody thing -- I thank those that gave their lives but it seems we have wasted what they gave by continuing to make war for those that make LOTS of money from wars
    ex PS
    27th Apr 2016
    12:49pm
    As an ex serviceman I truley believe that most of those who serve think that the purpose of having a strong defence force is to deter others from attacking us.
    I did not participate in any actions during my time of service and I thank the supreme being for that, but regardless of any political attachment, I belive that those who put themselves at risk by command of those in charge should be respected, honoured and looked after in the aftermath of war.
    I don't like the thought of war, never have, never will, but I thank the supreme being for those who are willing to fight them on our behalf.
    PlanB
    27th Apr 2016
    1:22pm
    Hi PS, I agree with you -- you Boys are great to join up to defend us -- and thats what it should be -- DEFENSE OF our COUNTRY and not sending them God knows where to suffer God knows what -- and not be looked after once they get back -- too much money spent on the now dead BLESS THEM -- it should be spent on the ones that are trying to LIVE and keep our noses out of the war mongers games.


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