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ANZAC Day 2015 Mildura Australia

25 Apr

Today, in all Towns and cities around Australia, we commemorated the landing at Gallipoli peninsula one hundred years ago. The Gallipoli campaign went down in history for many reasons, the atrocious loss of lives of both Australians and Turkish soldiers. Gallipoli was for the Australians, their initiation into the First World War. I attended the Dawn service here in Mildura, this is a short service carried out at 6 am every Anzac day, it was conceived by a few soldiers, which we call Diggers, and a Padre, as a form of remembrance for those who never returned, many decades ago. This tradition is part of Australia’s culture now. At ten thirty there is a parade, much like memorial parades in many countries, there is a service and wreath laying ceremony at designated cenotaphs. I attended both the Dawn service and was proud to march with my son Michael, at the ten thirty parade. However, age and wisdom has tired me out, today’s ceremony was carried out throughout the world, Gallipoli with Prince Charles and Harry speaking in attendance, turnouts in France, Brussels and many other European countries, Presidents, Prime Ministers and Royalty, all preaching the Gospel , Lest We Forget, a statement that I now find disturbing and outmoded in today’s world. I intend no disrespect to all servicemen who served in the First World War, irrespective of nationality or Country, irrespective of friend or foe. Soldiers always remember, they never forget, it is a legacy they carry in their memory for all life, it’s called Post Traumatic Stress. Why do I no longer like to hear the words Lest We Forget ?, the words actually interpret to, Let us not ever forget them. I don’t like hearing these words after one hundred years, being espoused at military remembrance days for a couple of reasons. Today at these services, we are amplifying the deeds and these words to children that have no concept of that piece of history. Children and the young do not need to remember the military past of a hundred years ago. I watched today as the Mayor quoted the words, Lest We Forget as I looked at a young child, words that carried no truth. Since World War One, there have been many wars and conflicts, Iraq, Iran, Afganistan,Timor Korea, Vietnam and many other conflicts around the globe. Why are we being told after one hundred years, to Lest We Forget, soldiers never forget, its politicians and governments that forget. In one breath today the Bureacrats of the governments around the world, were telling us to Lest We Forget but remember, and yet, at the same time,were signing the documents for more conflicts and wars. Our children do not need to remember wars that were carried out before their birth, and politicians do not need to tell our children that they must remember the past, to learn from the past. It is not up to children to carry the torch from past wars, it is up to our Presidents, Prime Ministers and Royalty to give our children a reason to not have to remember wars. There’s an old saying in Australia regarding soldiers, it’s that Old Soldiers never Die, they simply Fade away. I think that’s the future of my twilight years, twenty years in the Army and memory’s of Vietnam are not a great legacy to leave behind, unless the wisdom of those years has been passed on, sadly man invented war, and man perpetuates war, nothing is learnt from the past, politicians, Presidents and Rulers keep changing, and keep preaching the same old story to the masses, much like brainwashing, yes lest we Forget.If after one hundred years we still find the need to fire lead at our fellow man, then I don’t want to remember. I took time out today to remember those hundred years ago war, and the soldiers who died, I pondered on my contribution to Australia’s history, twenty years service as a Medical Corp member, Papua and New Guinea, Vietnam, have I left a legacy, or just inane words of wisdom? One thing I do know is that all soldiers involved in any war, suffer from Post Traumatic Stress, if you are subjected to a warlike situation for twelve months or more, your adrenalin is running on a continuous high, much like a drug. I returned from Vietnam in 1971 and was moved quickly through the Sydney airport back doors, avoiding customs, but mainly to avoid the crowd outside, who were demonstrating against the Vietnam war. I stayed in the Army for the next nineteen years, security with those who understood me and the common bond. I would have loved to have lived back in those days with Flower Power and Free Love, at twenty one I think I would have mixed in well with the Free Love bit. 1988 was the year I broke the umbilical cord with the army, my world went into a spin, society was nothing like I imagined. What followed was a life of antisocial behaviour, I couldn’t accept rules, heavy drinking, run ins with the police, a couple of speed chases. After two enjoyable and interesting marriages and divorces, My life has found its niche in the world with my Chilean wife Ana. However looking back upon the 100 years Gallipoli remembrance services today, I pondered on my old pictures of my past, and exactly who and what I was, I leave you these six pictures of my past, I wonder on what was going through the mind, of the young guy in each picture. The last picture is of myself and my son Michael, whom I am immensely proud of, at today’s Anzac day march. Lest We Forget, Yes, but lest we no longer need to Remember. Aussie Emu

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Posted by on April 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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17 responses to “ANZAC Day 2015 Mildura Australia

  1. auntyuta

    May 5, 2015 at 7:53 am

    “I returned from Vietnam in 1988 and was moved quickly through the Sydney airport back doors, avoiding customs, but mainly to avoid the crowd outside, who were demonstrating against the Vietnam war.”
    Did you mean to say 1968, Ian?
    These six pictures are indeed something to ponder about. It is very good of you that you do share them with your blogger friends. Sadly more wars are still going on in different parts of the world. But at least we are at peace with the Vietnamese who have been unified since 1976.
    Thank you so much, dear Ian, for sharing some of your memories.
    Hoping you and Ana are well. 🙂
    Best wishes, Uta

     
    • The Emu

      May 5, 2015 at 8:31 am

      Thanks Uta for pointing that anomaly out, I returned from Vietnam in 1971, got out of the army in 1988, dates get a bit confusing sometimes. I changed the date in the blog. Do hope you and Peter are faring well, massive dust storm through Mildura today, think it made the news.
      Kindest regards.

       
  2. Clowie

    April 28, 2015 at 8:46 am

    I believe that most humans would like to live in peace. It’s the humans in charge that don’t value life.

     
    • The Emu

      April 28, 2015 at 9:42 am

      I agree wholeheartedly Clowie, time we let the politicians and world leaders fight the wars.
      It’s their decisions that allow wars to start, they don’t seem to learn from past history.
      Kind regards

       
  3. davidprosser

    April 28, 2015 at 3:25 am

    There is no excuse for the glorification of War. But for me, ANZAC day is the opportunity to be reminded of the sacrifice made 100 years ago by a brave group of men who rallied to the call of the Commonwealth to defeat a common foe.So many gave up their life at Gallipoli that maybe we’re reminded that War has such terrible consequences and maybe we don’t want to repeat it.
    When WWII came, a new set of brave soldiers came forth to defeat an evil spawned by a new generation. Their bravery and sacrifice needs to be remembered even if we don’t want to repeat it.
    Australians have battled their way through more wars since then which haven’t been global conflicts but still we owe a debt of thanks to those who would lay down their lives to protect others. The time is right to tell Politicians “No More”. Enough blood has been spilled and our children and their children deserve to live in peace.
    Hugs Ian.

     
    • The Emu

      April 28, 2015 at 3:36 am

      Thank you David, your sentiments echo my own, I see idiocy in teaching young children to remember past wars, so as to learn from previous generations mistakes. In this day and post World Wars age, we should leave the past to history in books for children to research. Anzac day seems to be operating on a fine line these days, are we remembering with reverence, or are we glorifying with reverence ?
      Just my thoughts after twenty years service.
      Kind regards.
      Ian

       
  4. suzjones

    April 28, 2015 at 1:25 am

    I enjoyed reading your words Ian. Sadly in today’s society there are many who are seeing the ANZAC services as a glorification of war and nothing could be further from the truth in my mind (and heart). Whilst I am absolutely appalled at the commercialisation of it all this year, I have worked to instill in my children respect for the sacrifices of those who served our country in the past. It is not about remembering the war but sacrifices made on behalf of those of us who remained behind. I am also of the belief that respect should be shown for all sides in any war (although I need to clarify that a little to read, those that fought for their countries whether they agreed with the policies of their governments or not – because they were either conscripted or expected to). It is the governments that have much to answer for in this world.
    I thank you for your service to this country Ian. And many blessings.

     
  5. Monica

    April 27, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    This is a beautiful and very special post, Ian. Such a profound truth, that soldiers never forget, and politicians always seem to. The other thing I have learned about soldiers is that it takes many years, decades, perhaps most of a lifetime, before they can speak about what they saw and endured. What soldiers learn is wisdom, and thank you for passing it along.

     
    • The Emu

      April 28, 2015 at 1:54 am

      Thank you Monica for a very thoughtful comment.
      I think the is a fine line between remembering deeds and actions with reverence, and glorifying deeds and actions, under the guise of remembering.
      Sadly the world does not learn from past history, politicians and all world leaders need to remember and learn.
      Kind regards.

       
  6. Colline

    April 26, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    It is interesting to read your point of view Ian as you were a soldier for so long. I tend to agree with you – it is the politicians and government leaders that should not forget. They still make the decisions that lead to war and strife.

     
    • The Emu

      April 27, 2015 at 12:35 am

      Thanks for the comment Colline, I think there is a fine line between remembering with reverence and glorifying with reverence.
      Kind regards
      Ian

       
  7. gpcox

    April 25, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Looking sharp with your medals and beret, Ian. I suppose Australia is where MacArthur heard that saying about “Old soldiers never die, they simply fade away.”

     
    • The Emu

      April 26, 2015 at 1:24 am

      Good morning gp, was quite an eventful day yesterday, sad remembrance on a few occasions, but friendships renewed in others
      Thanks for the compliment about being sharp, like to think that this old war horse is still going strong.
      Cheers.

       
  8. prenin

    April 25, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Thank you for your service my friend.

    You and your fellows fought so we didn’t have to.

    Wars will only end when politicians have to do the fighting. 😦

    God Bless and be well.

    Prenin.

     
    • The Emu

      April 26, 2015 at 1:29 am

      Thanks for that great comment Prenin,
      there is no truer words than you have spoken my friend.
      When politicians and leaders have to fight, then wars will cease.
      Cheers.

       
  9. Sue Dreamwalker

    April 25, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Well said Ian… I particularly echo your words when you said

    ” There’s an old saying in Australia regarding soldiers, it’s that Old Soldiers never Die, they simply Fade away. I think that’s the future of my twilight years, twenty years in the Army and memory’s of Vietnam are not a great legacy to leave behind, unless the wisdom of those years has been passed on, sadly man invented war, and man perpetuates war, nothing is learnt from the past, politicians, Presidents and Rulers keep changing, and keep preaching the same old story to the masses, much like brainwashing, yes lest we Forget.If after one hundred years we still find the need to fire lead at our fellow man, then I don’t want to remember.”

    There was a programme on the BBC last evening commemorating the fallen in Gallipoli, And I said to my husband, and what have we learned over the years? Nothing.. for we still keep warring, killing and maiming,..

    I can only thank those who gave their lives, and those who like you Ian lived through and still bare the invisible scars of war of Vietnam . For we now need a legacy of Peace and Unity, not further Divisions of war..
    Will mankind ever accomplish Peace? I hope one day he will, but not until we move on from our Old ways of rule ..

    Blessings Ian.. And a fitting tribute to all who served their country .. Hugs Sue

     
    • The Emu

      April 26, 2015 at 1:52 am

      You understand exactly what I was trying to portray Sue, I tend to believe there is a fine line in remembering valiant deeds and occasions, and glorifying those valiant deeds and occasions, it’s the glorifying that we preach to our young, under the guise of reverent remembrance.
      Ian

       

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