OK, I realise that there probably isn’t any kind of day of recognition world-wide which is quite like ANZAC Day. I realise that it’s probably kind of unusual in world terms for people to set their alarms for 3am, attend a dawn service for the fallen, and then spend the rest of the day getting shit-faced and gambling.
As a friend of mine said tonight - in the middle of a heated argument about ANZAC Day with one of the refugees to whom we have given safe haven : along with New Zealand, we acknowledge the horrible realities of war twice a year. We listen to your stories which relate your personal histories and grant you asylum for 363 days of the year.
Is it really too much to ask that you either join us in acknowledging the sacrifices made by our own ancestors or that you ignore the couple of days per year we choose to remember?
You don’t have to join us - we hope that, in time, you will - but please don’t think that as an Aussie or Kiwi I will just sit there and let you put shit on our right to honour our fallen, or the manner in which we choose to honour them.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
I sincerely hope that this is the closest I ever come to posting an anti multiculturalism post. I’m really aware that the people I encountered today are not representative of their communities and that many people who’ve come from other nations felt honoured and privileged to be part of the dawn services.
I’m also feeling really shattered that so many people who fought hard and long to be allowed to be a part of this nation cannot bring themselves to acknowledge this day which in no way diminishes the history or personal experiences of their countries of origin.
to live in the hearts of those we love, is not to die.