ANZAC day is always a difficult one for me.
I am grateful for the courage, determination, and sacrifice of our military.
I am also grateful to the military where I learnt to fly.
When I was younger I used to put on my uniform (not that it would fit today) and attend dawn service. But it was rarely more than me, a few old dudes and their families.
Little kids were deliberately kept away. Now they march with their Grandfather’s medals.
Our military, when deployed have, with rare exception, served with distinction, but war is an awful business and horrible, horrific things occurred.
I wonder how many of those kids would march if they had heard the stories I heard after my old mates, now all gone, would get six too many into them deep into the afternoon and take their once a year opportunity to open up about the things they did and the scars that left?
And when I try to grasp the reasons our troops have been deployed into conflicts far away, as tools of our foreign policy rather than a genuine requirement to protect our nation, I wonder if the (concept of the) freedom their blood bought would not be the same, if not stronger if they had stayed put, safe on our shores with their families?
So, I rarely attend services now. It has, to me, become more a theatre of nationalism rather than the sad commemoration it was meant to be.
People have long forgotten that these displays were meant to discourage us from war in the future, not celebrate ever younger people in uniform marching without the mates they lost.
Whatever my ruminating, Lest We Forget, because when we do it ends in tragedy.