Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Reader Opinions and Comments

Yesterday I expressed the view that relatives of service personnel shouldn’t be walking in the Anzac Day march and wearing other peoples’ medals. I also said that in my opinion it was ruining the march. I invited comment as to whether others agreed or disagreed and I received a number of opinions of varying outlook, some quite spirited, all appreciated: 

From Phillip: 

Hi Otto. 

On ANZAC Day I enjoyed lunch with the surviving members of my father's WW2 brigade and their relatives. 22 attended and I guess there were 5 real veterans at the table. I was there representing my father (who is still alive but not able to get into town). 

Now to respond to your "gripe" ... personally I could not march on behalf of Dad. He was the one who endure the war and is entitled to wear the medals. I am happy to go to the Brigade lunch and pass on the news and stories to Dad but will stop when my father or the last vet has passed away. 

Other people in that lunch group DO march and proudly wear their relative's medals. They believe they are ensuring the "Lest We Forget" message will continue through their participation and it is important to highlight that most are direct descendents of a WW2 vet. 

Perhaps we should draw the line at participants with a direct single generation link to a veteran (or perhaps a minimum age), so that the ANZAC Day march does not eventually become just a parade. 

From Maureen: 

Anzac Day: 

Couldn’t agree more. I would feel uncomfortable wearing medals of family who were service personnel. 

The accolades are for those who earned them not for those just passing by. 

I don’t watch Anzac March anymore either. It is becoming a group of smirking kids who should be cheerleading at the football. 

I doubt you will get unanimous agreement. For those who wish to honour their relatives tell them to send money to Legacy. 

Best regards, 


From Candice: 

Morning Otto, 

Has Mondayitis gotten to you, or are you really a grumpy old bastard? 

If you think that these people marching in the parade think that the applause is for them personally, then I think you are missing the point of ANZAC day – Lest We Forget – as in, to remember them. 

If we all took your opinion, in nothing short of a few years, we won’t have any diggers to march and applaud – therefore there will be no march at all if not for the ‘ring ins’. These people are marching in honour of their relatives (be it great or grandfather) and I for one am happy to applaud a photograph of a man I have never met, let alone the kid walking along with a photo of one. 

I understand your comments are coming from a place of love for our ANZACs, but really? 

It’s up to that Mohawk kid’s parents or relatives to explain to him why he was in the march, and in my experience, most kids seem to understand that the march is about their grandad or the diggers – not them. However, I will admit…. Some of the kids might actually enjoy being in the parade and having people wave and clap. They’re kids and they love attention. 

Sorry, maybe I have Mondayitis but you did ask for opinions! 

Some thoughts on opinions:

“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” 
- Harlan Ellison

"You have to listen to the people who have a negative opinion as well as those who have positive opinion.  Just to make sure that you are blending all these opinions in your mind before a decision is made. 
- Carlos Ghosn

"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd."
- Bertrand Russell

"One often contradicts an opinion when what is uncongenial is really the tone in which it was conveyed."
-  Friedrich Nietzsche


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