ANZAC Day – our day of disrespect?
Today I attended the parade in Rangiora with Katie and the kids to show our respect, however it was disturbing to see how little respect is actually shown on this, the day I consider to be one of the two most important days in New Zealand.
We turned up at the Cenotaph, in persistent drizzle and it was warming to see how many people attended the speeches, laying of wreaths, and of course The Last Post alongside the veterans of our Armed Forces and civilian alike. But to stand there as the National Anthems of NZ, Australia and Britain with the sound of boy racers in the background was the start of the realisation that the day holds nothing in our collective psyche. And walking back to the car it became a harsh reality – cafes were open, and Subway itself was packed…is it me or does this seem morally wrong?
I’m not a religious person and don’t celebrate Christmas nor Easter as the Christian community does but welcome the days off and allow the kids to do what kids do on such days, but these holidays cater to a percentage of the population and can be treated as such…if you don’t believe in Christ, why should you be obliged to observe as those that are believers? But for two days of the year, Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day, these are days that celebrate a country and all those in (or associated) that country regardless of sex, race and religion. Waitangi Day celebrates the birth of a nation (albeit with some controversy) but ANZAC Day is both a celebration and memorial of those who died for a cause (whether it was right or wrong) and it is our moral duty and obligation to respect that, and serving foot longs sandwiches or coffee for profit does not fulfill that. The Government need to take a stand on this; it is either all or none on these days (and this includes the religious holidays) as it has become ingrained in our community that what happened in times before do not warrant a place in our lives.
Sure, the soldiers, sailors, airmen (and women of course) plus the civilian population went through hard times and sacrificed the ultimate to ensure we had freedom to speak, protest, access booze and smokes, elect democratically, and be the individual souls that we all are, but I would expect that every one of those who perished in Gallipoli, Passchendaele, on HMS Neptune, and in the fields of Korea, Malay, Vietnam and more recent battlefields would literally turn in their collective graves seeing the world they fought for.
All of this has now been taken away by a succession of Governments, hairy-armpitted, hemp-wearing, electric pouha (sic) smoking, bleeding-hearts and artists through a series of politically correct (an oxymoron if I ever heard one), cynical and tyrannical changes to the way we should live our lives…we cannot shit without a permit nowadays!
And who can hand on heart actually say what ANZAC Day is about? And does it matter now?
“There are certain sacrosanct days that should not be contemplated for shopping … and I believe that includes opening early on Anzac Day.”
Government Enterprises Minister (Australia), Dr Armitage