Thursday, April 25, 2013

“Less we forget” (… face-palm me please)

It’s a bit rough but it sums up some recent thoughts. 

 

Less we forget (…face-palm me please)

No I don’t mind a bit of remembrance on Anzac day,

but I like to temper national pride

with the realities of the day.

To reflect upon the nature of the wars we get caught up in,

to question why we keep falling into

other countries’ conflicts.

 

I like to remember that the only member of my family to serve overseas,

never returned home to ticker-tape parades,

but went quietly on living

with the unspoken cost of wars

when politicians and protestors

moved on to another cause.

 

I like to reflect that despite

their will to fight

and die for a country that hunted them until 1930, 

there were many

Aboriginal Diggers that returned home

to less rights

and no soldier settlement schemes.

 

I cast a wary eye over armchair Aussies

who wrap themselves in a flag

or better still

fly with pride, a tattered rag

Enough of an Aussie to put up one

but not to bring it down

with the setting of the sun

 

I grimace when

corporations take the time to pluck at

heartstrings to sell biscuit tins

and write “Less We Forget”

on aisle ends,

or when

heartfelt tweets hashtag national stupidity

into posterity or into the limited

social consciousness that awaits

the

next

Australia’s Got Talent

 

I fear

as Diggers march their last parade

and we forget that it wasn’t a football match

or some competition

we could be best at

that we stood shoulder to shoulder, you know,

with brothers and sisters

of all creeds and colours,

who arrived legally, seeking asylum

or just a fair go.

 

I fear in the end that it will become

just another chance to flaunt racial purity,

in the interests of security, you understand.

a misguided pride in symbols and stories

we don’t understand anymore. And

that haunted by history will

make

the same

mistakes

again.

 

Lest we forget.

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