ANZAC Day 2016 – One day of reflection


Abalinx – Peter Adamis 24 April 2016

ANZAC Day is soon upon us and it is only natural that our minds turn to those who gave their all not only at Gallipoli, the Western front, Middle East, Russia, Asia, Africa, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian ocean and South East Asia; but to all those military activities that history does not always mention or make public, such as peace keeping, military covert operations, and police actions. A copy of the article may be downloaded by clicking on: ANZAC DAY 2016 ONE DAY OF REFLECTION

I wonder why does one think of war at a time like this, is it only natural, a sense of pride that those who went before gave their lives or is ANZAC Day only for the descendants of those who served.  I think not as I am of the belief that ANZAC Day is fast becoming a day where cultural identity is becoming more important in this age of cultural diversity and overwhelming influence of technology that we as Australians need ANZAC Day to identify who we are as Australians. ANZAC Day has become so embedded in the Australian psyche that it has almost become a religion and a rallying cry against alien and non-Australian cultures.

Mind you, I am not against cultural diversity as long as the dominant culture remains Australian free of political agendas, religious influences and cultural interference. I say this with the utmost respect to our first Australians who did not invite the First Fleet to land on our shores nor to settle this great land we call home Australia. But life as it was then and as it is now was a matter of doing what was thought to be right whether it was for the right reasons or not is a matter for historians, politicians and the First people to resolve.

To those that follow us in the natural world of generational changes of life as we know it; I say that the challenges we face today are no different to those challenges faced by those who lived long before us and as such let us not be afraid to embrace those changes. We as Australians today have an opportunity to integrate the past with the present to ensure that the future we hope to build becomes a reality and that our children’s children live a life free of oppression.

A life free of any external and alien interferences, influences, practices, and concepts that would change the natural course of history as we know it. Irrespective of what we are advised by those in high office, we are after all a European based culture deeply embedded with democratic ideals originating in ancient Greece; tolerant of other cultures and resilient against any changes that may affect the Australian character. I can see that in the future ANZAC Day becoming a day representing not only those who have worn the uniform of Australia but including those of other nations who have also witnessed the horrors of war or have lost loved ones that have fallen for the freedoms we enjoy this day. Therefore it is plausible that ANZAC Day becomes a day of remembrance for all peoples no matter their origins.

On ANZAC Day when you see veterans marching, let us be clear about one thing.  Those veterans do not march because they have experienced the horrors of war, participated on war or active service, nor about how many medals one is entitled to. A veteran is marching because has worn the uniform of Australia in times of peace and war.  In essence, those who have worn the uniform of Australia and/or continue to do so because at one point in their lives signed to defend the nation and contribute its security and longevity. 

We of the living whether we have worn the uniform of Australia or not is immaterial, what is important is that we have been handed the baton of responsibility to pay our respects to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice not only in battle but while they wore the uniform of this nation. 

I would like readers to understand that when they see veterans march on ANZAC Day, pause for a moment and think of those who whilst dying on the field of battle being comforted by their mates.

no mans land

No man’s land – France WW1

On that field of battle in no man’s land, they spoke their last words to their cobbers. Their dying words echoing throughout the ages, kept sacred by those who survived. Knowing they were dying their thoughts were of home, a home they knew they would never return and therefore saving their last breaths to think of the good old days, to say hello to Mum and Dad, brothers and sisters, sweethearts, wife’s, sons and daughters.

Those that survived kept true to their word and as a result Legacy was formed, the Shrine of Remembrance was built, thousands of white marble diggers were erected, memorials and cenotaphs set up and honour rolls installed in organisations, schools, community centres, parks and the creation of the Returned services League.

All of this by grateful nation steeped deep in grief over the losing the flower of its manhood. You only have to travel throughout Australian country towns and see for yourself the devastating effect upon Australia and its people who answered the call for freedom.

Remember that on ANZAC Day no matter where we are in this world, let us pause for a moment and remember that, ANZAC Day is not about victories, battles, parades, medals or lengths of service. It is a day of remembrance to honour and pay our respects to those who wore the uniform of this nation before us.  Let us therefore not judge, or cast doubts of service or loyalty upon those who wore the uniform of this nation. For we are all veterans no matter when, where, why and how we served this nation we all call home – Australia.

The ode by Lawrence Binyon

I have written this because of the many who worn the uniform of Australia, never saw overseas service, were never acknowledged nor did they seek it, never received any medals, but still served just the same. I have seen mates drink themselves to death, suicide, relationship breakups, don’t attend any reunions, don’t march on ANZAC day, don’t feel that they have contributed despite their service to the nation and shun any contact with their military mates.

Personal research has indicated that the majority believe that all those who wore the uniform of Australia signed to defend the sovereignty, security and longevity of this nation we call home have the right to march on ANZAC Day

As always I apologise for the poor grammar, punctuation but not for the content as it’s a personal point of view. Having said this, I leave you with the thoughts of one Prime Minister who stated the obvious as indicated below. Revised and rewritten from a previous article titled Veterans.

The responsibility of Government is the security of the nation and it follows therefore that the Government has a particular responsibility towards those that have worn the nation’s uniform.  Because there is in my view, no higher calling than to wear the uniform of Australia.  Prime Minister Kevin Rudd 8 September 2008.

Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum.  He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News.  He holds a Bachelor   of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Website: Contact via Email: [email protected] or via Mobile: 0409965538

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