Remembering the right way
11 Nov 2011
At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Australia and many other countries in the Commonwealth stop what they are doing, whether it's study or work, for a minute of silence to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by thousands of people in wars and armed conflicts.
It is a sombre moment that marks the official end of World War I, a war that took almost 62 000 Australian lives and over 16 million in total worldwide. Although the conflict ended in 1918, Remembrance Day serves to ensure that those who were lost or injured during World War I and subsequent wars are not forgotten and that their memory is revered till this day.
ANZAC - an acronym standing for the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps that was formed in World War I and the name 'Anzacs' given to the soldiers it represents-is a term ingrained not only in Australia's military terminology, but in our broader cultural vernacular. It plays a large part in forming our sense of self as a country, our pride in our way of life and the people who fought and died for it in all military conflicts.
The word 'digger' has become as widely and affectionately used as Anzac to refer to our servicemen and is generally believed to refer to the skilful and tireless trench and tunnel digging performed by our World War I soldiers.
The image of the Rising Sun, a badge now used as the official insignia of the Australian Army, was affixed to the slouch hats worn by Australian soldiers in both the first and second world wars.
Anzac, digger, the Rising Sun - these are more than mere words and images. They are symbols of resilience under the pressure and horror of war, of comradeship and courage, of national pride.
So for good reason, the Australian legal system has provisions to protect these symbols. Special legislation provides for the banning of trade marks of any kind that use words like Anzac or images like the Rising Sun without express Ministerial consent.
In this way, the words and images that represent our military past and present can not be blemished by unscrupulous or undignified use. Instead we honour their memory by wearing a poppy, by attending a memorial service or simply by taking a moment to remember them on Remembrance Day.
Last Updated: 29/11/2012