Thoughts About ANZAC Day

I know it’s well past ANZAC Day now. But I’ve been thinking about it, and I might just have my thoughts in enough order to post them, now.

Ever since I got old enough to distance myself from the group hype around ANZAC Day and really think about it, I’ve been ambivalent. Very. See, my father’s a Vietnam Vet. And like all Vietnam Vets I’ve come into contact with, he’s got a few weird habits. Pecadilloes, maybe. For example, an image of a Vietnamese person on TV can trigger an anti-asian diatribe from a man who tends to believe more in ‘live and let live’ than racism. He can switch in a moment from ‘happy’ to loud, near-violent anger. And I think the military – and the war – did that to him. Sometimes it’s like looking at a graffitied masterpiece – some bits obviously just don’t fit.

So I can’t help wondering what it was that our veterans really fought for, and sometimes – whether it was really worth it. Regardless, I can only offer appreciation to the men who died to protect their country, doing what they felt was right. Because no matter what my ethical take on the past might be, I wasn’t there, and I didn’t put my neck out.

3 Responses

  1. honest thoughts… I don’t like the idea of war either and I cannot imagine all those mothers who had no choice but to watch their sons (and husbands) go either voluntarily or conscripted.
    I can’t say I would wanted them to go no matter how I appreciate them for the freedom we have today.
    My uncle was a Vietnam vet and he is also very strange.

  2. Hmmm – I think it is too easy to have the nostalgia come glory of the war overshadow the clebrations. Especially as the actual events recede further and further into the past.
    While I think it is important to remember the reason so many fought were for honourable reasons, I think it is far more important to understand that so many died or were affected horribly in conflicts that were too ugly and gruesome to understand. That people like your dad should never have had to go to war. That’s why I respect it – to hope that we learn from past mistakes and hopefully never have to walk those roads again. Naive maybe, but I truly hope that my boys will never ever have to bear arms for anyone.

  3. Yup, I agree with you both. I’d rather my children on the front lines as medics than fighting in a ‘safer’ way… it seems to do something nasty to a person’s heart.

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