I enjoy ANZAC Day as much as the next person. Dawn service is great, a few beers and tall tales even better. And I am the first to acknowledge how bloody good Australian soldiers are, having been one.
But at least I also acknowledge that perhaps other countries have played pretty big roles in all the wars, and many of the actions, that we have been involved in. Which is more than the Department of Veteran’s Affairs is willing to do. A friend of mine passed on this passage from the account of the Gallipoli landing on the DVA website:
Australians commemorate 25 April 1915 as 'Anzac Day'. It was the day of the 'Landing at Gallipoli' when more than 20,000 Australians and New Zealanders and some servicemen from other countries went ashore at the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Call me un-Australian, but when we start calling the 35,000 British and French soldiers who landed at Cape Helles 'some servicemen', I know that DVA has started to engage in Aussie triumphalism.
Photo depicts a boat carrying Lancashire Fussiliers bound for Gallipoli. Courtesy of Wikipedia.