As part of her visit to Korea, Julia Gillard helped to unveil a memorial to the Battle of Kapyong, described as “the forgotten battle in the forgotten war”.
But it’s hardly the only aspect of Australia’s wartime experience that has somehow disappeared down the memory hole. Many horrors get lost in the platitudes of Anzac Day.. Paul Daley quotes a Vietnam veteran’s submission to an inquiry about commemoration about the use of the euphemism “fallen”:
…PLEASE, in your reports, publications and promotions, try to avoid the utterly demeaning term ‘fallen’ when speaking of war dead – they did not trip over a stick or a garden hose, they were drowned, burned, shot, gassed and eviscerated to lie face down in mud or sand or at the bottom of the ocean.
So, on this Anzac Day, what else should we remember?
Elsewhere: Lefty E, who remembers that his WWII veteran grandparents couldn’t have “…a bar of the RSL, ANZAC day – or anything else to do with that time of their lives. “