With ANZAC day in sight, all across New Zealand and Australia we’re linking our metaphoric arms in remembrance of that tragic day in Gallipoli back in 1915.
As with any New Zealand-Australia orientated event though, there is always rivalry.
The latest is that the NZ Government is apparently not doing enough to identify, thus posthumously celebrate the lives and efforts of, newly discovered remains of our fallen soldiers.
Modern day DNA testing has the ability to discern beyond reasonable doubt the lineage and subsequent identity of our dead soldiers, and given that the Australian Government seems keen to commit its nation’s time, money, and resources to the task of establishing these very facts, the question is being asked, ‘Why is the New Zealand Government not?’
The truth is, be it New Zealand or Australia, these great men of World War One fought bravely and died for their cause. Every year we commemorate their endeavours, the horrific deaths of these fine men – of whom the remains of many are still being located and end up being laid to rest in unmarked, nameless graves.
That’s the issue right there. Some people – some living people – seem to believe that each man of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps needs to be recognised individually. I can think of nothing more inane. Who cares about the individual effort? On ANZAC day, every year, these two nations reflect on the sacrifices made for us by two transcendent armies of men. Not individuals – armies. In my opinion, recognising each man, sentimental as it may be, takes away from the greatness, the massive accomplishment, of these two spectacular armies of men.
Of course, then there’s the financial aspect. Don’t kid yourself, there’s always a financial aspect. Not in the DNA testing, that’s incidental, no, this financial aspect comes from those deplorable human beings who want to benefit from the sacrifice the ANZACs made for us. The Woolworths advertising campaign, as much as they claim it was ‘To honour our fallen men’, it appeared to me to be a blatant, repugnant, sales pitch. Bad as that was, even worse was the word from a higher power prohibiting use of the term ‘ANZAC’, maintaining that it was a trademark…
Seriously? A Goddamn trademark?! Suggesting that someone is making money off this historic acronym? Making money from the deaths of thousands of soldiers, who perished while fighting for our countries..?
If that is honestly what we’ve been reduced to, if we’ve somehow turned a worldwide tragedy into something fiscal, the matter of identifying our dead soldiers should be the least of our concerns – I’d be more worried about our sorting out the morals and values of our living.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Honor A Ball
Photography by Anne Zach Day