August 31, 2004

What to do about Anzac Day

Historian David Day has this to say about the way we commemorate our war dead:
It is time to rethink the way we commemorate the sacrifices that were made back then without neglecting to question whether all of them were necessary or in Australia's interest. The march should be transformed in tone so that it works as a warning against war rather than a celebration of it.

If children are to replace their dead fathers and grandfathers in the march, how about not only scouring the cupboards for grandad's medals but also getting under the house and locating the souvenired body parts that some grandads seem to have brought back from the war, such as the Turkish skull that was discovered recently on a Victorian farm? Let the children march with those to emphasise the horrors and waste of war. >> more >>
I second the motion, David!

And then there's this Anzac Day tribute by Grace Wong, which ends with:
Lest we forget. These words which we muttered during our school assemblies is a timely reminder to all of us, that war is not glorious, that we should never forget those who sacrificed their lives and above all else we should not repeat past mistakes. Lest we forget what war can do.
That's good enough for me... Thanks Grace.

Lest we forget...