Saturday, April 24, 2010

Reflections on ANZAC Day 2010

Both my grandfathers fought at Gallipolli .. for different armies. One fought for the brits, while the other claimed to have, but as he had lost an eye during the Great War, his account was never well examined. He despised Churchill in a way that seems unfair, much as many ARL bosses are despising the Storm for what they may well have done too, or not done.

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.
Our soldiers are deserving of respect. Not all paid the 'ultimate price' but many did. All sacrificed for their country and loved ones. It may sound trite to say that some sacrificed for their country when they didn't agree with what their country did much of the time, or who their leaders were. But the sacrifice is no less compelling for it.
They did brave deeds and forged international links of friendship. My father's father would later narrowly avoid becoming a desert rat when his unit moved to the Sudan instead. It was Roden Cutler's mob and they would also distinguish themselves in the Pacific, but by then my grandfather had demobbed .. he was old enough and had served his time. He had also avoided the Australia Calabrians whom he owed money to, at the time.
War is not glorious, and it is undesirable. But sometime it needs to be waged and won. The world would not have been a good place if Germany had won, or Japan. One sees glimpses of what happens in totalitarian administrations with the terrible abuses of justice perpetrated by such. Yet so often the abusers are also glorified, as with Che Guevara or Pol Pot .. never to a good end. We learn in such struggle we need to be strong and resilient. We can't let ourselves be over run by those who would ruin us for profit or fame. My father's father was a bombadier. They fired shells over their troops into the enemy. Tragically, sometimes, a shell would land short. Producing casualties and tears of which we expect in war, but not of friends or allies.
I thank God for Australia, and her peoples. I thank God we are blessed with many peoples from all the earth. And I thank God I can call Australia home. I thank God that there were those who stood and fought for me, and gave me the living I enjoy now, and want to keep for our children.
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