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National Holiday In America: Memorial Day
#1
Today is the day that we give remembrance to our brave heroes that served us all in the various wars we engaged in.
The holiday was meant for the veterans and casualties of ww1 & ww2. They are mostly dead now, but surely, there were some brave people that signed on to those efforts.

These days, it's more a reminder of something sinister. Sure, pity that our soldiers died; pity that they killed so many other people.
How long can this go on?
This celebration of a lie?

How courageous does a person need to be, to be cajoled into pointless violence, wherein they happen to be forced into a situation that gets them killed?  Most of our living and dead heroes now were involved in the wars that served nothing except a few elitists sociopaths.
In Vietnam, these heroes and their brave sacrifice were essentially involuntary. That truly sucks, and I do feel for them...they were forced to kill a few million people, far from home, in an effort that is largely seen as an awful mistake.

In the Iraq war, volunteers only, what exactly did these heroes sacrifice with their service? They sacrificed their souls to do the bidding of some rich shit heads. The idea of them protecting our freedom is a wickedly archaic, jingoistic idea that we are compelled to buy into.

Today is a celebration of our collective shame...or it should be.

I can't wait until this holiday goes the way of Columbus Day. It took a while, but we no longer see Columbus as a huge hero. He was kind of a dick, really. And the facts have filtered down, gradually.

But this mandatory worship of pointless violence needs to turn itself into a reminder of a type of sickness; hopefully as a reminder to not do that again. That, indeed, would be a worthwhile thing to remember.

Instead, all the official, mandatory lip-service remains unwilling to address the elephant in the room...instead focusing on the crappiest of jingoistic propaganda. It's a day of celebrating war. Really shitty wars.

What I'm expressing couldn't be less popular. In public, it would surely get me beaten, severely.

For me, this is a day of lament, and hopefully, a celebration of an intent to prevent future pointless horror.

(amen)
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#2


the more you drive the dumber you get
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#3
It's called ANZAC Day here and NZ.  
But there's a subtlety to how it's commemorated down here.
It encompasses all servicemen, but it's primary focus revolves around one particular military engagement, almost to the exclusion of more recent ones.
The WWI Gallipoli campaign has become synonymous with ANZAC Day.

The purpose of day has nuances that are becoming lost in the blur of time and twisted media coverage, and as the older generations die off.
It's still quite a big day for the youngsters, and while some of the meaning is a little misconstrued, the sadness remains, I just doubt that they really comprehend that it's an ironic sadness.
At least it hasn't descended into being a 'celebration'.  The tone is still sombre.

It's original intent has gotten fairly fuzzy now but it hasn't quite descended into a glorification of war, and it's dead heroes.
 It's intent was to separate the pride from the sadness and  futility and grieve for the wasted lives while remembering who and what sent them out to die in someone else's war.

There are various trains of thought on it.  I've been through most of them at one time or other.  
One is that it's a farce.
One that is to honour heroes.
One that it warns of the futility of war.
One that is to warn the gullible about volunteering for other people's wars.
One that it is to keep us in the mood for war.
One that it's to boost enlistment. (Buggered if I can see how that one would work, the opposite should apply)
One that it's to grieve for young lives lost
One that it was a 'Nation building' epiphany that brought Australians together as a Nation and not just a colony.
One that it's a contrived use of wasted lives to make us feel better about ourselves for one day per annum.
One that proves we are capable of respecting former enemies because we do "a haj" to Turkey to pay respects at the site where they handed us our arse.

One (my current fave) is that it's to acknowledge along with the grief for the death toll,  the shame we feel of our troops being ordered to invade a country with which we had no issues at all, just because some Pommy told us to.   ... that lesson is understood better by the general population than by the politicians it seems, as little has changed on that front.

.. there are other nuances to it which are dependent on the point of view of the holder. I'm guessing Shiner and TA have a different take on it to mine, and that's a good thing about it, it makes us think.
Immigrants think we're nuts as it is pretty much a great mystery to them, as it should be, it's an 'Aussie/Kiwi thing.'

But the strangest thing about it is that it seems to be the only National Day which commemorates the first and greatest defeat  our Nations ever suffered.  
It seems to have become the anniversary of our awakening to what the world did, and continues to do to us if we let it.

It commemorates a defeat!  wtf?   I like it that it does, there is a certain humble awareness about that which keeps, or kept, us grounded. 

I like the underlying feeling that by going to Turkey the youngsters are giving a form of subtle apology to Turkey for our attempt to invade it, whilst also acknowledging the sadness of all the young lives lost in the effort.

Mostly I like that it's not about pride in our military as such, but pride that they "died well' and that the survivors brought home the truth of what happened and told us so and also held great respect for their 'enemy'. I never heard any badmouthing of "Johnny Turk" they were seen as a worthy foe, and the Poms as an unworthy 'ally' ... dunno, it's hard to explain really.
 
There is also a kind of  'link' to Turkey because they didn't deride our defeat. 
We respect them for that and as fighters. They too held a respect  for our soldiers, not for the generals, but the soldiers that they killed like flies to protect their Country.  It was in a time when there was still a form of honour in warfare.
 
As I said, it's a very nuanced thing.  We have a contingent of ex military service Turks who march with our vets as a symbol that we don't hold grudges over it.

Turks are good at grudges, and it's kind of comforting that they don't hold one against us despite that Gallipoli invasion incident.  
I'm guessing that America doesn't have quite that kind of attitude to any particular event in military history.   We would draw the line at Japs and Nazis joining the march, or even Italians, maybe, we didn't take them all that seriously though.  But, and I can only speak for myself,  I felt a certain wry pride that we've allowed the Turks to march. They were perhaps a worthier 'enemy'.

Sadly Turkey is no longer ruled by the likes of Ataturk either.
OZ, NZ, and Turkey are no longer the countries they were a century ago, so the remembrance is becoming a day trip into maudlin nostalgia for a very different era.

This piece, whether contrived or not, I think not, indicates the differences in war then and now. And why there has been a kind of respectful rapport with Turkey for so long.  (Of course our connection to Galliploli is worth a lot of tourist bucks to them now, but it didn't at least, start out with that venal aspect in mind.)
 Can't imagine something like this being written for the dead of invading nations now, can you??  Especially not from a Moslem Nation.


Quote:A moving tribute to the Anzacs killed at Gallipoli is often attributed to Atatürk in 1934:

Quote:Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives ... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours ... You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.
This inscription appears on the Kemal Atatürk Memorial, Anzac Parade, Canberra.
 



Gallipoli was the lesson we needed that we weren't a mob of young and naive invincibles.  Turkey did us a favour.  It toughened us up and woke us up that were tougher harder people than us.  
And that is the message I take from it now.  Sad for the 'kids' who volunteered, and furious with the bloody Poms who used them as cannon fodder.

I don't view them as heroes, they had no idea what they were volunteering for, they didn't go abroad to fight for OZ, that war had nothing to do with us. They volunteered to go on an adventure.
  They weren't heroes, they were people fighting for their lives because they had no option but to fight if they didn't want to die.  

The one message of ANZAC Day that tends to be glossed over is that  it should remind us not to volunteer for other people's wars.  It never ends well.
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#4
very nice, Di. I'm still stunningly ignorant of Oz history. Thanks.

drive by truckers sure hit the spot.
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#5
US Memorial Day was known first as Decoration Day, started in the South after the Civil War... to honor their dead from that rebellion.

"Decoration Day" song I linked was a first-person account of a family feud that still lives. It's complicated.
the more you drive the dumber you get
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#6
stanky: Can't disagree more with your opinion that Memorial Day is a day of "celebrating shitty wars." It is not a celebration, as such. It is a remembrance of those who sacrificed everything, including their lives, in really shitty wars so that you and I might live lives of self determination.

Please consider that the next time you feel like including the uncounted war dead (and on both sides, I might add) amongst the baby-raping feckless scum of the Cosmos.
You can lead 'em to knowledge, but you can't make 'em think.
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#7


the more you drive the dumber you get
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#8
(05-29-2017, 07:08 PM)sparks Wrote:  stanky:  Can't disagree more with your opinion that Memorial Day is a day of "celebrating shitty wars."  It is not a celebration, as such.  It is a remembrance of those who sacrificed everything, including their lives, in really shitty wars so that you and I might live lives of self determination.

Please consider that the next time you feel like including the uncounted war dead (and on both sides, I might add) amongst the baby-raping feckless scum of the Cosmos.

I already gave a pass to ww1 and ww2, Sparky.

The rest of it has had zip to do with our lives of self determination.
And everything to do with determining other's lives.

Let's not get our flag-undies in a bunch.
Memorial day is the day of motor boating on the lake and cooking burgers on a grill, and having the day off from work and school.
That's the reality. 
And Independence day, similarly, is a day of hot dogs, beer, and fire works.

Who the hell equates it with a slice of history, except politicians giving speeches?
The Easter holiday is time off, with some chocolate bunnies and eggs tossed in. Even Atheists often get time out to celebrate it.

If memorial day wasn't about glorification of war, why wouldn't it simply be a time for reflection for all the dead people, including the heroic ones that served and died in all manner of non-military context?

What is special about the soldier?
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#9
(05-29-2017, 08:11 PM)stanky Wrote:  What is special about the soldier?

Nothing


[Image: 19a8447bce346f41c022a3551b3a48a4.jpg]
"Nobody should pin their hopes on a miracle": Vladimir Putin
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#10
(05-29-2017, 07:08 PM)sparks Wrote:  stanky:  Can't disagree more with your opinion that Memorial Day is a day of "celebrating shitty wars."  It is not a celebration, as such.  It is a remembrance of those who sacrificed everything, including their lives, in really shitty wars

I agree.


Quote:so that you and I might live lives of self determination.

But I scoff at this.  This would justify war. I don't believe we can.
"Nobody should pin their hopes on a miracle": Vladimir Putin
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