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The Forum > General Discussion > Tony Abbott is joining the board of the Australian War Memorial.

Tony Abbott is joining the board of the Australian War Memorial.

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Dear Mr Opinion,

Yes, but groups are made up of individuals.
Also they fought as a group. The Memorial's
purpose to to commemorate the sacrifices
of all these people. The mission of the
War Memorial is to assist us to remember,
interpret and understand the Australian
experience and its enduring impact on
Australian society.
Posted by Foxy, Friday, 4 October 2019 6:23:03 PM
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Dear Paul,

We need new ways of thinking to cope with the
nuclear age. It is by visiting the War Memorial
that we can learn the horrific reality of what
war means and possibly this will nerve us to
build an alternative and better future.

As Stephen Vincent Benet wrote:

"Oh where are you coming from soldier, gaunt soldier
With weapons beyond any reach of my mind
With weapons so deadly the world must grow older
and die in its tracks if it does not turn kind."
Posted by Foxy, Friday, 4 October 2019 6:35:05 PM
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The reason we need to study history is in order to understand the present. Our present is the product of our past. The present can only be explained fully with recourse to the past.

PS History is not the past. History is a description of the past and is constructed within the present to explain the present. As such history can be described differently from the perspective of the historian depending on the times he/she is living in.

What I am saying is that in a multicultural country like Australia we have different groups of people who have their own history. Each group can explain their present without reference to a dominant history. What gives us the right to push our history on others who don't need our history to explain their present? Can you see how someone like Tony Abbott could use the AWM for his own purposes?
Posted by Mr Opinion, Friday, 4 October 2019 6:41:16 PM
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Dear Mr Opinion,

I can't argue with your logic.
Posted by Foxy, Friday, 4 October 2019 7:31:33 PM
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I can't agree with you Mr O; "identity of Australians at war has any relevance to most of the people who presently live in the country."
Even though I am anti-war I make a point of attending the local 'Dawn Service' around each ANZAC Day in my local area, not to glorify war, no way, but to remember ALL from ALL sides who died in pointless conflicts. The last one I attended, like all the previous, was well patronised, 500 or 600, not just by old folks, but there were many young people, families and ethnic people as well. There has to be a difference between the glorification of war, and the remembrance of the loss and suffering war inflicts.

I think what my grumpy old Grand Uncle, who served at Gallipoli, and on the Western Front in WWI said to me sums it up, when at the age of eight, I enquired; "Uncle what did you do at Gallipoli?" He didn't reply; I killed Turks, or I shot Germans. Nah, his reply was "SON!... I kept my f'n head down!" that about sums up what participation in war is worth. I once met a Japanese chap whose father fought in the Pacific in WWII. He was still alive at the time, and in his 80's, his wife and family were so overjoyed that he was one of the very few from his unit that returned home to Japan after the war. he settled down, worked in construction, and raised a family, sounds familiar?

BTW for Mhaze, I learnt a lot about WWI from grumpy (a consequence of the war I believe) old Grand Uncle, not necessarily the stuff you would get from the high school history books. Men will be men, and boys will be boys.
Posted by Paul1405, Friday, 4 October 2019 9:45:31 PM
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Dear Paul,

I find it rather sad that someone who is living in this
country and I assume permanently - finds no relevance
to our War Memorial for himself or others.

Yes, we are a multicultural country - but we are all
Australians. And we need to respectfully acknowledge the
fact that many have given their lives in this
country's service. And will continue to do so if
required.

To be an Australian citizen one pledges
loyalty first: loyalty to Australia. One pledges to
share certain believes - democratic beliefs - to
respect the rights and liberty of others and to respect
the rule of law.

Memorials are an important part of every culture. They
allow people to remember the deceased. Memorials have
existed in every culture for thousands of years.

For example - the Taj Mahal, Lincoln Memorial, the Great
Pyramids, the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, the National
September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, Yad Vashem
Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, to name just a few.

They were all created in loving memory - for a purpose.
So that people can remember those who died
and their relevance to
their countries. They include sons and daughters, wives,
parents, friends, colleagues, Presidents and leaders,
so that we can show respect for them.

Each Memorial has a purpose - and in order to appreciate
that one does need to visit before making any judgements.

Anyway, I think that this discussion appears to have
petered out.

Thanks again for your thoughts. They are appreciated.
Posted by Foxy, Saturday, 5 October 2019 1:31:55 PM
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