Across Australia today Aussies are remembering the ANZAC soldiers of World War II along with other Australian soldiers of the past and today. ANZAC stands for the Australian New Zealand Army Corps that was formed in response to the British Empire’s request for troops to fight in World War II. The ANZAC’s most memorable battle was on the shores of Gallipoli in modern day Turkey where the Australians took massive losses in the blundered attack. However, the shared suffering and bravery of the attack resignates with the Australian character of mateship and is thus remembered on ANZAC Day.
Today I went to a local memorial service that began at 5:45 in the morning and then in true Aussie style we went to go eat breakfast and then drink beer in remembrance of the ANZACs. I had a beer at 7:30 today and I can’t remember the last time I have ever drank a beer that early in the morning, but allegedly the ANZACs drank alcohol before landing on the beaches of ANZAC Cove that morning on April 25, 1915 to fight the Turks.
While drinking some beers with my Aussie friends this morning plenty of talk was about the wounding of two Australian soldiers in Iraq. Additionally Australian soldiers came under rocket attack today as well. It is pretty clear that Iran was trying to kill some Australian soldiers the day before ANZAC Day so that over the holiday that would be what all the Australian will be talking about. So far Australia has been very lucky and has had no soldiers killed by enemy actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. So any soldier killed by enemy fire would be a big news story. Australia has had wounded soldiers before so the Iranians did not achieve their desired media effect. The Iranians have been working on getting the British out of Iraq and humiliated them last month with the capture of the British sailors and Marines. I think it is very likely the Iranians ordered an attack on the Australians through a surrogate militia in Iraq in order to create political pressure in Canberra to withdraw Australian troops.
As this incident shows the Aussie soldiers serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and across the world are continuing the spirit of the ANZACs today for Australia.