Remembering Nothing

Anzac day tomorrow here in Australia.

That’s the day when we remember our soldiers and most particularly those who fought in a place called Gallipolli in Turkey in the First World War.

It’ll be covered for Australia Radio National by an Australian lady journalist of Turkish heritage I believe.

Highlighting the fact that we’re the best of friends now, Turks and Australians.

Nothing surprising about that is there?  Germans and English. Japanese and Americans.  We’re all the best of friends.

Until the next time.

When our leaders tell us it’s time to pick up our guns and go on the warpath to maim and kill our ‘best of friends’.

Turn the clock back and we were the best of friends then, too, if only we’d known it.  If only we’d been able to know it.

Like blind cattle we mill around in our staging camps and home garrisons waiting to be sent forth to the slaughter. Either to slaughter or be slaughtered.

For we know not what.  For ‘our country’, for our leaders…. for nothing but to follow like sheep, for nothing but to avoid shame before our peers….

The tragedy of the world is how we prey upon ourselves.

I think war memorials are a time to reflect upon that tragedy just as much as to reflect upon the bravery and the agony.

We owe it to their bravery and their agony to reflect upon the broader picture.


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