Thursday, April 24, 2014
Remembering Anzac Day
As usual, Australia remembered the dreadful slaughter at Anzac Cove, now 99 years ago. The dawn commemoration at the Cove itself was as usual touching; but instead of the interminable speeches (some good, some poor) and carrying-on, how much more moving and effective it would be shorn of all that, with simply the Last Post and Reveille and a single reading of the Laurence Binyon verse. The no doubt unconscious self-aggrandisement of the staff officers and ambassadors, the speeches boring and sending to sleep the youngest present, the school choirs some members of which can't resist a small smirk at the camera - it simply doesn't seem to me to work at all well, now. And I suppose the centenary occasion next year will be even grander and less effective. 'We will remember them' - certainly; but let's do it with a little more consideration, with dignity rather than pomp.