Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Anzac Day

"At the rising of the sun...lest we forget"
Today is Anzac day & for the first time in forever I've actually watched (on TV) the dawn service. I'm a pacifist, so war to me is abhorrent. My Dad is a Vietnam Vet, my Grandfathers & Granduncles fought in WW2 & my great Grandfathers & Uncles fought in WW1 etc, etc...I live in a community that includes one of the most significant Air Force bases in Australia; the very base that my Dad ended up being in a squadren
 back in 1968. I'm not proud to remember the fact that they 'had' to go to war but I admire them & I'm proud of what they had to do! Do you understand' the difference??

Back left is my great Uncle Jimmy.
He died in WW2 after only a few
days on the front. The rear right is my
 Mum's Dad...he was in the Navy &
ended up in Darwin, defending  Aus
against the Japanese.
My great Uncle Jim (another one).
He served in Papua New Guinea.
This is my Dad heading off to Vietnam in 1968. The little one of course is me, and my Mum is looking distressed but being brave & trying to hide it. I didn't see my Dad for nearly a year, so I didn't know who he was when he came back. I tried to explain this to Mousie but I don't think she really understood (that's alright though). In later years he talked a bit about what it was like to be fighting in a war that really was none of our business. He said that when they flew home they were spit upon & booed. Because he was in the Air Force he had no choice but to go to war & then there were the poor buggers that were called up under conscription. Only 2 years ago he was finally awarded with his medals: Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm- Unit Citation & United States Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (with combat V Device). It's a big difference between how the old veterans were/are treated & the new guys in Afganistan etc. my 15 years doing family history research I've found many war heroes in my family tree but the pics I've included were ones I already had on the computer, so even though war makes me sick...I salute you all and to those no longer with us...may you all Rest In Peace!

1 comment:

  1. Great photos- though you can see the pain etched into your Mum's face. My Grandad fought in WW1- my Dad had to fight the authorities many years later to get the medals that he should have had. He was wounded in the leg and they were still picking shrapnel out of him when he died in the late 1950s- his suffering lasted a lifetime. I understand the difference between glorifying war and paying tribute to those who had little choice but to fight, who saw horrific things and who paid the ultimate price.