A cynical observation about Woolies’ unauthorised “fresh in our memories” adverts is that anyone with first-hand memories of Gallipoli would be very, very old, so what does that tell you about Woolies’ produce?
It’s good that a few people are protesting about the general over-the-top exploitation of the Anzac commemoration.
What bugs me, and I’m sure many Vietnam veterans are quietly sad about, is the complete ignoring by media and just about everyone else of the 50th anniversary of Menzies’ commitment of Australian troops to Vietnam.
Late on May 29, 1965, PM Menzies announced to parliament that Australian combat troops would be sent to Vietnam to support the US and South Vietnamese governments in their war against the nationalist communist Viet Cong.
On May 26, 1965 at night-time, the first contingent of Australian combat troops left Holsworthy barracks after three months’ secret training, to embark for Vietnam.
Menzies’ April announcement had to be delayed until he finally received a letter from the South Vietnamese requesting Australian troops.
The letter was a fig-leaf for the prior commitment Menzies had made to the US.
People with memories of the mid-60s debates, teach-ins, birthday ballots and the growing anti-war movement are now nearly all retired, mostly over 70. Vietnam vets likewise.
So it is time that the nation’s memories of the Vietnam tragedy were refreshed and its lessons noted.
Especially now that PM Abbott has announced the commitment of 300 Australian and nearly 80 NZ troops to Iraq.
More Anzacs off to the Middle East – supposedly “advising” this time.
But perhaps we’ll all be “commemorated out” after Anzac Day?
Wilma Western, Leongatha.
Another important war anniversary