For the first time women leading the Anzac Day March while observed by a great number of younger generations

Massive crowds lining along the street to observe the Anzac Day March
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An unexpected rainy day in Sydney, with thousands and hundreds of people pouring out to take participate in the activities of Anzac Day from 4:30 am to 5 pm. The other areas of the city were in a silence while the crowd was gathering in the Hyde Park and Elizabeth Street to watch an Anzac march during the daytime.

On the way to Hyde Park along the Elizabeth street, a lot of soldiers can be seen scattered throughout the street, drinking and chatting with each other after the Anzac parade. People were lining up and applauding for the more than 16,000 servicemen and women march. Which deserves to mention is that among the marchers not only the male soldiers but also a great number of female marchers were taking the lead.

The noticeable phenomenons on Anzac Day

  • Women lead the Anzac Day March for the first time

On 25th April in Sydney, the Anzac march started from 9 am which can be observed along the Hyde Park and Elizabeth street, massive crowds of people were coming out and gathering around the Martin Place and along the Elizabeth street to observe the Anzac parade. And this year in 2018 is the first time for the Anzac Day March being led by hundreds of female veterans across the nation.

Picture of women took the lead in the Anzac March saluting to the crowd

The Anzac Day March since 1942, first commemorated at the Australian War Memorial was led by male veterans. Up until now, Women showing up at the front of the March was really changing the traditional view of the public about the Australian military. 

In 2018, this is the first time for women to wear their medals on the left-hand side and take lead on the Anzac Day March. There are so many voices about the presence of the front position took by female marchers because they think women should prove that they earned the medals before they showing up in the front of the March and participating in the commemoration.

Left:Ross Johnson, an 85 years old veteran, attended the Anzac Day commemoration every year/ Right: the March observed by thousands of people on the Anzac Day

“I am glad to see that the contribution from female veterans to our country has been recognized. It absolutely the biggest surprise in this year on Anzac Day that women lead the charge at the parades.” Said an 85-year-old veteran who has taken participate in the Anzac Day march since 1951, the starting year of his soldier life.

“They are deserved to lead the march, not only male but also female veterans both played an important role in serving the military. ”

“93% of ADF were open to women, but they weren’t allowed to serve as ‘front-line’ infantry.” Reported by Brendan on THE STRATEGIST

There is statistic shows that women have taken up 15% of the armed forces in Australia with continuing contribution to the country, even sacrificing their lives to the military. Therefore, they are deserved to be recognized and honored by the public equally to male veterans.

However, the Anzac March on 2018 has turned over the situation of recognizing the contribution by female veterans while raising the profile of the female veterans. From 1942 to 2018, it has been half a century, and the patterns and meanings of the Anzac Day have been through a significant change. For instance, the national celebration on Anzac Day is not only about the war but also about the Anzac spirit; not only about memorizing the fallen veterans but also paying respect to those soldiers who have served in the military in protecting the country including both male and female.

Female and male veterans waving to the thousands of people while sitting in the car
  • More younger generations attending the Anzac commemoration 

Nowadays, more and more younger generations are showing up in the Anzac Day commemorations with their parents or their families. According to Air Vice-Marshal Steven Roberton ’s words in <Thousands of women finally take the lead at Anzac Day marches as calls to change tradition and acknowledge their sacrifice grow louder>, the challenge was to make sure the spirit of Anzac was passed on to Australia’s children and to honor the fallen and their sacrifice.

Two children watching the parade on their father’s shoulders

As a growing number of young children attending and observing the Anzac Day march, it can be said that in recent years, the influence of Anzac Day including the history and the Anzac spirit has been passed through the next generation gradually by participating the commemorations on Anzac Day. Besides, the Anzac Day is not merely centered on loss and the war, it presented a different meaning to the public like courage, endurance and mate-ship, and most importantly, it helps us, especially the younger generation to remember the history and the fallen and cherish the peace in the world.

Left: A 17-year-old high school student as well as a 4-year-marcher / Right: All ages holding the Australia national flag while watching the march

“I am very proud to be one of the marchers on Anzac Day. Although this is my fourth time to attend the parade as a marcher, every time I am excited about the marching and feel very honored to be on the march.” Said by Maeve Kelaher, a 17-year-old girl who is also an experienced marcher starting her march life since 2013.

“Every year I felt very touched when I see the veterans and it reminds me of the contributions those people made for serving our country. ”

In the past, the majority member of the observing audiences were old veterans and soldiers while nowadays the major part of witnesses tends to be the younger generations. The Anzac Day was commemoration and celebration in the last years gradually turning to be a reminder and a sign for us to keep the history alive and bear the Anzac spirit of courage, endurance, ingenuity and mate-ship in mind.

How do you feel about the women leading the march and young generations showing up in the watching crowd?

After attending the Anzac Day commemorations, how do you feel about the phenomenon of women taking lead of the march? Welcome to leave your comments on the women leading the march or the younger generations taking a big part of the crowd. Also, welcome to post the photos of Anzac Day and if you have any question about this article please leave your comments.

 

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