Friday, April 25, 2008

For Anzac Day Friday 25th April 2008

Made for the coming ANZAC Day celebrations. I have nothing but respect for soldiers. I think things are worth fighting for. I don't like war, but sometimes we gotta.
"And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" is a song, written by Eric Bogle in 1972, describing the futility, gruesome reality and the destruction of war, while criticising those who seek to glorify it.
I became a citizen of Australia on 12th April. Little fanfare. Only one visitor was allowed to the ceremony, and no one wished to go, although I promised 2GB if someone came along I'd shout them a beer. Both my grandparents were said to have fought at Gallipolli, although I only believe one of them did. The other got himself blinded in a bar room brawl or some such and claimed a pension. With so many wounded, no one was to argue over the years. Still, he married a good woman and took her parent's house and land, selling it for grog. He despised Churchill, whom he blamed for the loss, and his infirmity. Truth was, though, that it was nearly a success, and it was made a defeat by a political campaign and a loss of will, thanks to the newspapers of the day. No one was killed in the retreat, as apparently the Turks were forced to conserve ammo.
Substantial debates are occurring regarding diggers marching. Family are being asked to march behind the diggers. One might think that an honor, but those wishing to stop it altogether claim it is a crime.
A toast, that the sacrifice of many will not be in vain.
The citizenship ceremony was ok. No food or drink. Barely enough chairs. People rushed in and out. Crowded. The speakers were all English as a second language speakers, and so it was halting. People were cheerful. Bureaucratic nonsense was present, with a minor bureaucrat apologizing for not having a politician on hand to have their fingers licked. For ANZAC Day, ALP politicans are present. There is plenty of seats, food and drinks. One feels like joining the ALP, for many of the same reasons as one might have felt like joining the communist or Nazi party, in another time or place.
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