“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,
heartfelt tweets hashtag national stupidity
into posterity or into the limited
social consciousness that awaits
Australia’s Got Talent
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
Lest we forget.