The ANZAC Call
The ANZAC Call aims to tap into the rich heritage and noble ideals displayed by our ANZAC World War 1 warriors and exploit the unique opportunity that is coming to celebrate the 100th anniversary of these events to bring them to the attention of the general public. The ANZACs are a symbol of our nations of Australia and New Zealand and they are known for character and values that our countries are fast losing. Yet these ideals still linger in the national subconscious, as shown by the attendances at ANZAC day memorials and pilgrimages to Gallipoli.
For the nation, it is important to raise public awareness above the death and destruction of war to capture the positive aspects of victory and fruitful change that can come through sacrifice and effort directed towards the common good, not selfish desire. Could Be’er Sheva become a new Gallipoli as a place of pilgrimage?
We would all prefer a world without war but the reality is that when confronted with evil, we have the choice of allowing it to overcome us or standing up to fight for what we value and believe. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, is often attributed to Edmund Burke, but in fact its authorship is uncertain. The truth however persists. Our ancestors in both world wars fought for the freedoms we now enjoy. Are we prepared to fight to keep these freedoms for our children?
Warfare is not like it used to be. No longer do we see an army approaching and go out with swords and rifles as in days of old. The enemy is now much more surreptitious. In the physical, suicide bombers and ‘lone wolf’ attackers can appear anywhere, at any time. Destructive moral termites are eating away at the foundations of family and morality in our nation through the internet, television, and media. Pornography is rife and domestic violence, drugs and suicide are destroying lives. The Judeo-Christian heritage that gave us freedom and made our nations great is being constantly and quickly eroded. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion are being suppressed. We have a choice: remain silent and lose those freedoms or stand up and speak out. That takes courage. The nation and the youth need a rallying cry to unify them and a focal point to get on board. It is hoped that the ANZAC Call will present such a challenge and opportunity.
One World War I recruitment poster said, The Trumpet Calls. In 1915, 26 men started to march from Gilgandra to Sydney (320 kms) to enlist and called in at other towns along the way, recruiting others to join them. By the time they arrived, their numbers had swelled to 300. This was called the ‘Coo-ee March’, after the famous Australian bush call. Many other towns began to do the same, creating a snowball effect. These marches were highly successful in raising awareness and gathering recruits. We need men and women who will once again display the ANZAC values of sacrifice, courage, perseverance, mateship, adventure to stand up and be counted.
The goals of the commemorations are:
- to see the Battle of Beersheba and Middle Eastern campaign come to public notice, the victories celebrated and the 100th anniversary commemorated.
- to promote the positive ANZAC values.
- to tell the true history of the partition of the Ottoman Empire
Celebrate the victory at Beersheba and the success of the Middle Eastern campaign.
People are called to do all they can to encourage, organise or promote events in their local town or city. As Monash said, we need to ‘elevate the public spirit and public sentiment’ and to draw attention to ‘noble thoughts and noble ideals’ and ‘common ideals of worthy purpose’. We hope to ‘band the community together in elevated thought and common national purpose.’1 He envisaged that the celebration of ANZAC ideals would do that. This call is to ignite this dormant, unspoken desire in our nation.
For practical suggestions please go to Events – Action Plan.
- Warhaft, S., Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia, Black Inc, 2004, 90-91
- Coo-ee monument, Gilgandra NSW – https://theeternaltraveller.wordpress.com/tag/new-south-wales/
- Gilgandra Coo-ee march – https://cooeemarch1915.com/tag/john-r-lee/