Merry ANZAC Day
To me, hearing wide eyed children tell TV cameras at dawn services that the soldiers ‘died for our freedom’ seems to miss the point of ANZAC Day. Do we not gather to promise our young people that we would never, ever throw away their precious lives on wasteless wars the way we did so delightfully in our past? That as NZers we have grown up and will no longer feed the dogs of war with the lives of our brightest and youngest – and that when we do go to war it is ALWAYS for the right reasons that we ask younger generations to lay their lives down, and never simply to please an overseas power.
You would think that the historical slaughter of our fellow countrymen, so much so that their bodies rise above us and blot out the sun, would be enough of a mental image to ward us against any type of cheap romanticized nationalism, but the lack of any critique of our rush to war suggests sadly we will ignore that image of a broken mountain of corpses, cheering our war dead as they coldly stare back at us. In our desperate fumbling for a national identity let's not forget the deep human tragedy the reality of war is and how hard we must fight to not fight, I think our commemoration should be to the human tragedy of war, it is only by recognizing this that we guard against being led so easily to war in the future and we fulfill our promise to the next Generation while truly respecting the loss of the past.