Australian Friend: It’s called “two-up.”
US: Ok…so what’s the deal here?
Australian Friend: You flip two coins at once and bet on how many will come up heads.
Now before you read further you need to understand that gambling is:
1) Something that is everywhere in Australia.
2) Something that we haven’t overly enjoyed
3) Something we are forced to deal with every day working in pubs
With that in mind –
US: That is a dumb gambling game. Why would you even play that?
Australian Friend: Well, we really only play it on this one day each year because, you know, they did…
US: oh dammit, we’re sorry, we’re ugly Americans.
We as Americans simply have no idea the sacrifices that have been made for us.
Not only by those of us who are, as we have previously pointed out, the servants.
But also by those who suffer and fall in far off lands and do so having never known what it means to so much as stand on American soil.
Because they were not American.
These people who fight, who bleed, who to this very day die for us and our freedom without even so much as the ability to vote for our decision makers are known by a simple name
They are called “allies”
And in Australia specifically, they are called “Diggers.”
A nick-name earned for a very specific skill set:
Back in World War 1, the ANZACs were known for being better than anyone else for,
while being machine gunned,
to completely ignore the living hell raining down on their heads
and dig trenches
towards the enemy line!
For this they were rewarded by breaking though to the enemy-occupied trenches with a shovel in their hands.
We reiterate that they were so good at this that BOTH sides called them “Diggers”
- Their enemies meant it as an insult
- Their allies meant it as a joke
- And the Australians were too busy digging trenches through minefields and taking on machine guns at point blank range armed only with shovels to much care either way.
The name stuck though and to this day Australian soldiers are called “Diggers”
It’s a name we as Americans would do well to know.
Because the Aussies may not bring the shovels anymore but what they have always brought was that same spirit: The willingness to fight, to die.
And when the lives of their mates’ are on the line, to dig deep and make the impossible happen.
April 25th is ANZAC day. Which is something that we did not understand, as evidenced by this video we made:
(side note – ANZAC biscuits are amazing. Seriously. Imagine buying girl scout cookies & supporting the troops all at once! And yes, the analogy is accurate – ANZAC biscuits are THAT good.)
We plead ignorance – despite the very high level of education both of us received, despite the fact that both of us received degrees from a federal military Academy, we simply were not told.
We were not told what it REALLY means when the words “coalition forces” are used.
You thank the USA for helping you in WW 2?
Thank you for Gallipoli… for taking on one of THE WORST battles of WW 1, the one none of the rest of us wanted and in fact pawned off on you because we knew it was a suicide mission from the get go. Thanks for taking it head on and paying in blood for every inch of beach you earned a few decades before “D-Day” was even a word.
Thank you for WW 2. For sending your sons and daughters to the slaughter a second time because we all couldn’t sort it out properly the first time.
Thank you for the Cold War. As the missile flies, you were a heck of a lot closer to the other side than the rest of us, you were completely isolated down there and yet you still threw in with our side and more than pulled your weight.
Thank you for Korea, for using your blood to help us draw a line that stands to this day.
Thank you for lying, crippled and wounded, in the jungles of Vietnam alongside us.
Thank you for Gulf War 1, for backing us when we backed our ally.
Thank you for Afghanistan, for over a decade of constant battle at our side.
Thank you for Iraq, for backing our play even when we ourselves weren’t sure it was the right one.
For the dirt, the trenches, the grime, the bullets, the bombs, the snipers, the IEDs, the disease, the gas, the chemicals,
For the massive toll of human lives that you have willingly paid, again and again, to call yourselves allies to a country that, quite frankly, by far and large doesn’t even realize you’re fighting alongside us day by day.
Australia, thank you.
Thank God for the Diggers.
Lest we forget.
This article is about the Australian part of the ANZAC. We would be remiss not to mention the other half of the equation – the Kiwis who have also helped us hold the line, time and again, with little notice or thanks. For more on the country that sacrificed the largest part of their population to “The War to end all wars” and also continues to stand at our side to this day, check out last year’s ANZAC day article.
Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures. If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at www.CoastGuardCouple.com!