Another April 25th is upon us, and once again I pull a flag to the top of our family flagpole because it seems like the only way I can thank the men and women in the Australian and New Zealand armed forces who fought and died for their lives and ours.
Today is for the Diggers, and I’ve analysed their sacrifice and my feelings about it an insulting amount in the past, so this time I will simply pay my respects.
Time for a status update, though.
Today is also the day Marvel is releasing an Avengers movie. It’s not the first time they’ve moved up the date to (coincidentally, intentionally, who really cares) take advantage of the public holiday in Australia and New Zealand. It’s actually about the third time. It is, however, the first time there’s been public and media outcry about it, and about how it’s disrespectful to the troops.
And that worries me. Any measurable state-change in this direction worries me, because it means reason is falling further under the wheels of the nationalistic jingo train. Believe it or not, it’s possible to pay one’s respect to the Diggers and then also enjoy a nice day off and a movie about a war. A make-believe war, I should add. The only sort of war the Diggers wanted to exist at this point. That, as I’ve said before, is why they died.
I’m managing to do both, and I don’t even have a day off.
And then there’s this.
Catherine isn’t wrong. Like Australia Day, ANZAC Day has become a celebration of white mastery over the foreigners and the glorification of war rather than the celebration and remembrance of those who fell.
Make no mistake. I am not proposing we abolish ANZAC Day. On the contrary. I’m saying we need to observe it in the manner it’s intended. A respectful reflection on the horror of war, the acknowledgement of those who fought and died, because if we forget history we will go on repeating it.
And the same goes for letting it become a full-blown bogan Halloween. Because when that happens, the ferocious spirit of goodness that the Diggers embodied will really be gone from this world. And we will be back to bleeding and dying in the dirt, with our hearts full of fear.
Yes, just like theirs were.
– Sent from my Huawei. We will remember them.