Things I wish I never had to hear again on Anzac Day

  • The ‘high diction’ (as literary historian Paul Fussell called it) of terms like ‘the fallen’ and ‘sacrifice’.
  • ‘Anzac Day doesn’t glorify war’ (no, but it does sentimentalise and de-politicise it).
  • ‘They died for our freedom’. (Fighting for the British Empire in the First World War or to prop up the corrupt regime of South Vietnam?)
  • The fake Kemal Atatürk ‘Johnnies and Mehmets’ quote.
  • Silence about the wars of invasion that took place within Aotearoa and Australia.

To be clear, I have no problem with people mourning those who died in wars overseas or who returned from those wars physically and psychologically wounded. But I am tired of the cliches that, every year, get pressed back into service on this day.

Meanwhile, with the military-themed street names of Waiwhetū and Waterloo having been in the news over the weekend, it seems timely to refer back to my posts about these names (here and here).

One thought on “Things I wish I never had to hear again on Anzac Day

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