The sad thing is that the focus is so largely and squarely placed on this one battle that we forget the many other conflicts that our service people have engaged in and are still engaging in, particularly in East Timor, Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan. It's as if no other soldier ever fought except the 'Diggers' at Gallipoli which incidentally was an absolute disaster, an embarrassment, yet we still celebrate it.
Recently a number of old soldiers attended a ceremony in France to commemorate the thousands of Aussie troops who died on the French Front, particularly in the Somme. Not one consulate official from Australia, nor any dignitary (I use the term loosely - this is what happens to politicians when they leave the front bench) attended the event much to the chagrin of the elderly Aussies attending. Yet tomorrow, they'll all be out to March wearing their Vietnam medals or their father's and grandfather's gold badges of courage, mixing it with the vets, shaking hands and kissing babies. It's an insult to the solemnity of the event.
I don't like war, I don't condone it but sometimes you just get stuck in it. And when you do, it's important to support those who are or have been on the front line. So, I'll be watching the parade tomorrow and sparing a thought for our kids overseas no matter how small our contingent. It's important that we commemorate these events but a real shame that it doesn't stop history repeating - Lest We Forget.
Now, on a less profound level, I was pondering how different things might be if women went into battle, it would be more like preparing for the sales.
- First, we'd design practical but attractive uniforms with a little metallic or lace trim.
- We'd plan everything meticulously before-hand including a list of our expectations and a discreet exit strategy. Every soldier would have a clean pair of knickers (you don't want to be wounded with dirty underwear) and $50 in their pocket for a taxi home.
- We wouldn't be afraid to ask for directions on the way to the front and would very probably get lost a few times before we actually arrived, cutting down actual battle time significantly
- Once facing the enemy, we'd probably decide to have a little sit down, a Cappucino and some Raisin Toast to give us an energy boost before the assault.
- We'd reapply the lip gloss
- Change into our sensible shoes and wait patiently for the appropriate countdown before rushing over to the enemy screaming blue murder and flailing arms
- We'd then determinedly bitch slap them to Tuesday, smearing their mascara and humiliating them into defeat.
- We'd retreat, straighten our hair, slip into something more comfortable, reapply the lip gloss and go home to finish the washing, pick the kids up from school and prepare dinner.