Lest we forget — beyond ANZAC

Jessica Perini, Everleigh, May 3, 2024

6 am and I can hear them gathering. Every year since COVID began, our neighbours have insisted on an ANZAC Day service in our street. The bugles blare at the rising of the sun. New Zealand and Australian anthems are sung.
“For those who’ve come across the seas …” And I turn over in my bed and rage.

My adopted grandpa, he was one of them. I do not denigrate his years of service. Nor the beliefs he held. It is the sanctification of the period that irks me to the core. This act has been made saintly. An act that was not without its fault. If we say lest we forget, lest we forget its whole, not just the parts we seek to make hallowed.

Lest we forget indeed. The soldiers, who saw the madness, wanted out, but were shot by their own people. The right to speak up, which they supposedly fought for. The claim of the fight for democracy, despite siding with the greatest autocratic power known to society at the time (Russia).

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