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We will remember them...

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by gegvasco, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. I know most see it as just another public holiday, but I think ANZAC day is entirely different. It really means a lot to so many people. I don't know if it is a fact but from what I have seen attending Dawn Services for near on 20 years, it seems more and more people are proudly wearing medals on their right chest(medals of a family member, not their own). I guess it is the changing of the guard in many respects as more and more servicemen and women from the big wars(WWI,II,Korea,Vietnam) leave us and their children and grandchildren are able to remember them by wearing their medals on ANZAC day.

    I attended the Sydney service this morning in the pouring rain and you could tell that not a single person was worried about getting wet. The reasons they were there were of such importance that getting soaked didn't matter in the least. And there was no jostling for position in the crowds, there was no pushing in front of queues at the overworked coffee shop counters, and in a situation where a mobile phone tone would have been inappropriate, not a single one was heard - all things that you don't get at just about any other big event in Sydney. It is a very special thing.

    It was good to see the Patriots Motorcycle Club out in force as was the Vietnam Veterans MC, both of which were resplendent in leathers as they laid their wreaths at the Cenotaph flanked by uniforms and suits.

    As for me, I was fairly traditional in that I went to remember those whose footsteps I now tread. Those who like me, deployed but unlike me, didn't come back. I also went to share the remembrance with the families who lost their own soldier/sailor/airman, the pain of which is still written in their faces as they o-so proudly wear medals on their right chest.

    Finally, I think we should also remember all those who have served and died, for whatever reason, away from the front lines while wearing the uniform. Like Warrant Officer Nary, the SAS soldier killed during training in Afghanistan a little while ago - forgotten in the fallout following Private Kovco's death. Like Pvt Kovco, who deployed and, for whatever reason, didn't come home. Like the 18 soldiers killed in the BlackHawk crash in 1996. There are no Victoria Cross's for these people, yet the impact of their loss is the same.

    Lest we forget....

  2. people really do step up on ANZAC day, it's great.
  3. [​IMG]

    The Soldier stood and faced his God,

    Which must always come to pass.

    He hoped his shoes were shining,

    Just as brightly as his brass.

    "Step forward now, you Soldier,

    How shall I deal with you?

    Have you always turned the other cheek?

    To My Church have you been true?"

    The Soldier squared his shoulders and said,

    "No, my Lord, I ain't.

    Because those of us who carry guns,

    Can't always be a saint.

    I've had to work most Sundays,

    And at times my talk was tough.

    And sometimes I've been violent,

    Because the world is awfully rough.

    But, I never took a dollar,

    That wasn't mine to keep...

    Though I worked a lot of overtime,

    When the bills got just too steep.

    And I never passed a cry for help,

    Though at times I shook with fear.

    And sometimes, God, forgive me,

    I've wept unmanly tears.

    I know I don't deserve a place,

    Among the people here.

    They never wanted me around,

    Except to calm their fears.

    If you've a place for me here, Lord,

    It needn't be so grand.

    I never expected or had too much,

    But if you don't, I'll understand.

    There was a silence all around the throne,

    Where the saints had often trod.

    As the Soldier waited quietly,

    For the judgment of his God.

    "Step forward now, you Soldier,

    You've borne your burdens well.

    Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

    You've done your time in Hell."

    ~Author Unknown~
  4. At the risk of being labelled "unpatriotic" or "unaustralian", I confess to not pausing to remember and not demonstrating an appreciation for the sacrifices made by soldiers, both past and present. I never have and probably never will. It's just not on my radar. I had no realtives who fought in a war and have no currently serving relatives.

    At the risk of being accused of taking things out of context:

    I remember going once to an RSL on Anzac Day maybe a decade ago. It was the one time I thought I'd "give it a try". I remember the very obviously cross-dressed person sitting at my table who was wearing his(her) relatives war medals with pride, and I recall the scathing remarks from the M.C. about how "poofters" had no place in the RSL and would this "blight on the memory of soldiers" mind leaving the room immediately, to the thunderous applause of the several hundred strong crowd assembled there. I remember thinking (and still do) that it all seemed to be a bit superficial for the vast populace, as demonstrated by that single act.
  5. That sort of attitude isn't confined to RSLs though. Given most RSL members are from the older generation, I reckon a higher proportion of people that age would have a similar attitude, having been brought up in a very different world. Add the military side of the house where it has only been 10 years since you officially were not allowed to be vilified for your sexual preference. I guess you could blame the military primarily for that sort of attitude, not the RSL.
  6. vanman37
    the world moves on, we've grown a lot more tolerant of a lot of things in the last 10 years, a lot of the old guys that fought in wars will never accept poofs, coons, dago's, slope eyes, females in the forces, etc, etc, it dosent make there biasis right or wrong it's just the way they are, they were bought up in a diferent world.

    Now this is about the U.S. forces but i'm sure, apart from a few things aplies to many military of most countries.

    The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired,
    tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by
    society as half man, half boy Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's; but he has never collected unemployment either.

    He's a recent High School graduate;he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away

    He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155 mm howitzer.

    He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.
    He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark.
    He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.
    He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.

    He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march.

    He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient

    He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other.
    He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.
    He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle.
    He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.
    If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food.
    He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.
    He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands.
    He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.
    He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all.
    He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime.
    He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them.
    He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat
    and is unashamed.

    He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking.

    In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.
    Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom .

    Beardless or not, he is not aboy.
    He is Our own Fighting Man that has kept this country free.
    He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.
    Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

    And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so.
    As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot..
    A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.

    Lest we forget...........................
  7. You don't sound "unpatriotic" or "unaustralian" I'd say just plain ignorant. Read a few books, learn the history of your country and the men that made and protected it and then maybe you'll want to show respect and admiration for what they went through.
  8. Yup - Perhaps I am ignorant. Perhaps the half dozen people I spoke with tonight at work about this are also ignorant. Who knows. Patriotism is a wonderful thing for those who feel it, I have no doubt. I find it's also a very limiting thing, in that it completely blinds the wearer to the fact that perhaps it's OK for others to not share the same views, and to quickly label them as wrong.

    Me ignorant - the cross dresser not being welcome......I'd confidently argue that the same prejudice exists today - "Believe what we believe, or else get stuffed"

    Note I did not intimate that I expect others to hold my view, nor do I insist that others acept my view. It's mine, and I own it, just like you have views about things that I might disagree with.

    Thanks for the advice. Always appreciated.
  9. I agree Woodsy, that the world tolerates many things that it never used to, but I don't think I agree that we've become "More tolerant" in general. I think we've matured (should that be immatured) in terms of our biases and prejudices. I also agree that I am not in a position to judge the old diggers beliefs, as their frame of reference is vastly different to mine. In saying that, I was raised in a different world too, and shouldn't be expected to uphold beliefs which hold at best, references to a time and way of life which is most intangible to me.

    To those who desperately want to celebrate then I say go for it. To those who don't want to, for whatever reason I say good for you too. Problem is, there will always be those who want to force you to have their beliefs and label you as ignorant for not doing so.
  10. Unfortunatly sad but true :cry:
  11. Thanks for the post Woodsy

  12. Geez, that digger standing in the rain looks familiar. I think I was behind him in the crowd.
  13. I believe there is strong possibility we would all be speaking Japanese or pidgeon today if things had gone a different way. That would also mean My parents would not have met and I would not exist.

    I am quite glad I exist and thus I pay my respects to those who helped bring the circumstances to the fork in time at which I was born. The fact they did it for (mainly) their own beliefs I find very uplifting. I hope I will fight for my beliefs and allow some nice young biker to be born in the future into a happy world with hope in it.

    As someone wjho has spent extensive time in the not nice parts of SE asia, Asia and the middle east I reckon we have a lot to be thankful for.
    THATS what "Lest we forget" means to me

    /Rant over :wink: