Anzac Day today of course, and there’s much to be said for the value of remembrance, and the meanings we draw from the day. I think there’s much to be said for who’s losing that meaning now, and why.
Is Anzac Day becoming too much of a nationalistic celebration now? I was talking online with a few people today about this, and they reported seeing all kinds of awful jingoism and nationalism surrounding the day, and too much “celebration” full stop for what should be something very solemn. I try to avoid that, so didn’t see much of it, but I know what they mean.
Have we lost sight of the fact that the original Gallipoli landings and the campaigns of 1915 were a terrible disaster? That our troops were invading a foreign land at the behest of our British overlords, and while they were brave and heroic and did what they could, it was a terrible folly?
I think that commemoration of a terrible, misguided battle, and the commemoration of how horrible all war is, is the truest and best way to remember the Anzacs. Whether they fought for a noble cause or a useless cause, there was always much bravery to be had, but also too much sadness and loss, and things we should seek to never repeat.
We now have more young veterans than in decades. Will we stop and make sure their ranks do not grow again?