When I was in year twelve, I won a writing competition that saw my parents, brother and I head to Canberra. If you know what to look for, you can find my writing in Hansard. I can’t remember what to look for. Otherwise I would share the link.
That was years ago now. It’s kind of disturbing really. Almost 20 years ago. Sigh.
One thing I remember from that trip is heading to the War Memorial. I found it disturbing, overwhelming, and I just wanted to get out. For a pacifist from a country town, it was a little too full on.
My Dad? He loved it. In fact, he loved it so much that he got reprimanded by one of the security guards. They found him in one of the fighter planes that were on display. His defence was that he had seen some kids doing it, and why shouldn’t he? He climbed out, a mixture of embarrassed and giggles and defiance.
The image of that school boy look of “Why shouldn’t I?” while playing in multi-million dollar pieces of weaponry has resurfaced. It isn’t my Dad in the plane this time, thank god.
I don’t want to go into an ANZAC story, or even defile the name of ANZAC by talking about the fellow who is in the cockpit in these most recent pictures. But suffice to say, the following image and words from Leunig sum up where we are now.
For what it is worth, I will remember them.
Fighting the good fight.