My first ANZAC Day in Australia was in 1983, the same year that Redgum's song was released. I was 23 and it was less than two years on from my father's death following the ditching of his RAF Jaguar into the Atlantic as a result of birdstrike. I had struggled with Remembrance Day, and I could see I was going to struggle with ANZAC Day.
As I remember that first ANZAC Day, it was a relatively sombre affair with little fanfare; basically an opportunity for ANZACs to catch up with each other, minus all the revolting hoopla that has become 'de rigeur' over the passing of the last three decades.
And now in 2015 ...
It's ... Party! Party! Party! ... no kidding today it's a straight out neat pop festival, and alarmingly, a significant number of the festival goers are blissfully unaware that Gallipoli was not a victory for Australia. It's a major 'event' now, with an event management team (vomit), and a programme entailing surf boat races, and cricket matches, and of course politicians tripping over themselves to be seen.
In effect the day is a perpetual celebration of military recruitment, a day of complete 'War-Washing.'
And the crassness of it all is accentuated this year because 2015 marks the centennary of the doomed ANZAC beach landing in Turkey.
Don't we see the message churned out by our ever-war-ready media, and gushy journos, and cynical leaders?:
Your country needs you boys and girls, there's money to be made here for Big Corpa.
Go forth and die for us, why don't you!
Wake up, Australia!
Nothing good comes out of war - NOTHING ...
And just as in 1983, our musicians today are still calling it for what it is; acknowledging the horrific ongoing-toll exacted on a nation, paying tribute to 'all the battle weary mothers' ... but ...
When will we ever learn?
(Cross-posted to Scone Blogger's Blog)