Chasing the Norm

Australian academic and blogger on politics, international relations, and culture

Remembering the ANZAC’s

From my favorite WW1 poet Wilfred Owen

The Send-off

Down the close, darkening lanes they sang their way
To the siding-shed,
And lined the train with faces grimly gay.

Their breasts were stuck all white with wreath and spray
As men’s are, dead.

Dull porters watched them, and a casual tramp
Stood staring hard,
Sorry to miss them from the upland camp.
Then, unmoved, signals nodded, and a lamp
Winked to the guard.

So secretly, like wrongs hushed-up, they went.
They were not ours:
We never heard to which front these were sent.

Nor there if they yet mock what women meant
Who gave them flowers.

Shall they return to beatings of great bells
In wild trainloads?
A few, a few, too few for drums and yells,
May creep back, silent, to still village wells
Up half-known roads.

This country did wrong by far too many who served it. We gaily sent them to war for causes not our own, we ignored their needs upon their return. If the current revival in ANZAC day spirit is worth a damn, it is in the honour and honesty we owe those who fight for this country. To the men and women who have served and continue to serve this country in uniform, in the police and in other capacities, Thank you.

3 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Matt C

     /  April 26, 2010

    The British were not saints but then they were not Kaiser’s Germany either. The world is a better place because the Allies won.

  2. I entirely agree.
    Australia had a strong interest in the result (not least because of German colonial interests in the pacific), but our troops were abandoned by their country into the fire.
    Oddly nearly 100 years later we are now over-protective of our soldiers, to the likely detriment of the war effort.

  3. Matt C

     /  April 27, 2010

    Yes I agree with that too.