I don’t usually reblog here. Especially of a more political nature. But I am deeply interested in cultural narratives, particularly Australian ones, and how they play into more spiritual considerations. Indeed, I personally think they are irrevocably intertwined, certainly in my own practice and understanding.
I don’t celebrate ANZAC Day (April 25) myself, having almost no link to anyone who fought in the Great War. When it comes to remembering military related actions I’m more directly connected to, I often find cause to celebrate the democratic process that meant my parents could vote for Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1972 who, ending military conscription in his first government, saved my Dad from having to fight in Vietnam, who’s “number” had come up only shortly before the election. A solemn and very real reminder that fewer lives “result” from war, and my own, and my sister’s, resulting thanks to that little piece of legislation.
I think this is a very measured, reasonable article, highlighting what I have felt is a growing “khaki thread” that threatens to distort our history and sense of “nationhood”. It is often said that Australians look to overseas conflicts due to a lack of conflict on our own soil; internal or domestic conflicts often considered far more “nation-forging”. The fact is we’ve failed to recognise the very real and bloody conflicts that HAVE occurred on our soil, and thus, ANZAC Day serves to further marginalise and oppress the very real history of conflict experienced by our Indigenous Peoples. And in doing so, these conflicts still dominate, like all suppressed things, left to fester and gain power as they remain unexamined.
I don’t deny the horrors of war. But I do believe we need to step further back and look at the story of our nation as broader, and more diverse than the overbearing ANZAC Day narrative.
Many people submit articles to The AIMN for publication that might hold views that run counter to the views of the majority of our writers and readers. The fact that the opinions might not be to our favour are, however, no reason to ignore them. In this article by historian, David Stephens, about the growing emphasis on Anzac in our culture, some people may find elements they vehemently oppose. Others may agree with the sentiments expressed. In David’s own words, he belongs to a group of historians who are “committed to frank debate and expressing a diversity of opinions on specific issues”, and this attitude is certainly captured in this article.
Senator Michael Ronaldson, the Minister for the Centenary of Anzac, says that the forthcoming centenary will be the most important period of commemoration in our history. I beg to differ.
I want to present…
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