Today is ANZAC DAY in Australia.

Today I marched with my mates in the ANZAC ceremonies in Melbourne.

There is no IP more precious to the Australian Culture than the story of ANZAC. There is no Aussie meme that has more enduring replicator power than the ANZAC meme.

After the march we retired to The Heroes Club in Toorak for a post-ceremonial fortification — beers and chicken sandwiches.

I’ve had many conversations with diggers from the Vietnam War as well as the other wars that cost Australian lives. One of the recurring themes amongst talking with war veterans is their despair that their war was never the last war. Why do we still go to war? Why are young Australian men and, in recent years women, too, still coming home in body bags?

In this context I would like to ask the following question: Should the great Australian War Memorial in Canberra tell the truth?

I don’t know what would be the better answer to this question but I do think that it is a question that should not be protected from thinking. If this question can be asked in Australia then it may also, one day, be asked in other nations around the world.

What if the Australian War Memorial in Canberra told the truth?

I was recently in Canberra and spent a day at the memorial. It’s easily one of the best days any human, Australian or not, can ever invest in their own future. One of the things that this wonderful place does is to ensure that every Australian who gave his life is remembered.

Lest We Forget.

But the great elephant in the room–in every one of these galleries that are crammed full of certain, but highly sanitised, images of the wars–is that the image you are looking at is nothing remotely like the truth. All the images are painstakingly edited. Why? For what good reason? For whose benefit? On whose authority?

4 thoughts on “Marching with my mates …

  1. The depictions of soldiers are there to glorify the men in the profession of arms and not to glorify the wars they fought in.

    The actions of soldiers on behalf of and for their country is beyond what any civilian ever does for his country and deserves repect, admiration and remembrance.

    When a soldier dies for his country, his mates and the citizens of whatever country he is protecting, his coffin is draped in the national flag and he is sent home to a full military funeral, with the deepest grattiude of his country.

    When a person is remembered by his familiy and friends, the best of the person is remembered and displayed in photos and images. The images of the persons death are not displayed out of respect to the person.

    The display of anti soldier attitudes by members of the community, who have no idea what it is like to be in combat and sit back and judge, without any experience of war is a disgrace.

    These people do not have the right to an opion because they have not earned it.

    Freedom isn’t free, it was paid for with the lives of fallen soldiers.

    The brutal truth of conflict is readily available in photos and accounts, to anyone with an interest, at the Australian War Memorial.

    You may disagree with conflict but that is no reason to ill treat soldiers. You were the citizens that sent them to war and they safe guard your freedom.

  2. I too attended an ANZAC memorial civic service. It was a beautiful sunny morning in Titahi Bay, and we followed the Parade up the main street to the War Memorial for the short service. What struck me is that when New Zealander’s remember ANZAC, we remember not only our New Zealand men who fought and were lost, but also our Australian friends as well. The New Zealand National Anthem was played, followed by the Australian National Anthem, in Titahi Bay. I do not think that New Zealander’s are reciprocally acknowledged in Australian ceremonies – yet ANZAC would be AAC without New Zealand’s contribution – it’s just not the same is it?

  3. Of the memes taught & learned by people as they grow, study, enter and participate in society, the key one is that of honesty in all things. Some people accept what they learn & are taught, and don’t challenge it, even as they age.

    If they don’t know the facts they never get an opportunity to understand, and remain trapped within a worldview that is false – leading to actions that may be wrong.

    I think “Yes, we need facts.” But what is the truth? I think it is a personal thing, created when we decide – it is subjective, not objective (refer to the philosophical definitions of these two words), coloured by the history of our knowledge, feelings & emotions, our communications & interactions with others.

    We share our truths with other people as if it was the only correct thing, but frequently forget that there is no single correct truth. Facts do exist. Facts are confirmed with evidence. If there is no evidence, or if the evidence is falsified or manipulated, then trust and faith is all that is left.

    I began playing floorball recently. Rather than change the past, design a new future.

  4. We are all very fortunate that good men and women stood up when called upon. Often giving their lives in the hope they were making for a better world
    So the untarnished truth should be told exactly as it really is or was. Unfortunately just as we have in court cases, evidence is often suppressed for legal reasons, It’s the price we pay for accepting our legal system of governance.
    There will always be a better way and for the sake of all out ANZAC heroes plus the millions of others who lost there lives, Just THINK, perhaps SOT can help uncover that better way.

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