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Disrespect and impudence at one of Australia’s most sacred sites

By 29 July 2014 44

australian-war-memorial

The Australian War Memorial would not be unfamiliar to most Australians, especially Canberrans. We have all been there on at least one occasion, some of us who aren’t Canberra natives most likely would have visited on our Year 6 excursion to Canberra. Perhaps some of us visited with elderly grandparents or other family members who wished to pay their respects. The Australian War Memorial is a national icon, recently named the number one landmark in Australia, and was number seventeen on the worldwide list as voted on TripAdvisor.

The first time I ever visited the Australian War Memorial was in 2002, on a school visit to Canberra. My classmates and I were all very solemn and even a little bit spooked by how eerie and sombre the Memorial can be at times. We visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to pay our respects and our little sneaker-clad feet tiptoed in as quietly as possible. Our teachers had given us very stern instructions to not even speak a word while we were in there – I have memories of holding my breath for as long as I could because I thought that maybe even breathing loudly would be disrespectful.

As we cautiously approached the Tomb, daring not to even blink, my school friends and I could see that there were footprints all over it. Even as an 11 year old I was surprised, curious and a little bit disgusted at this sight. Who did these footprints belong to? Who would have the nerve to walk over the top of anyone’s tomb, let alone the tomb of a soldier that fought and died for the freedom and beautiful standard of living that we enjoy today, almost 100 years on.

Australian War Memorial

Fast forward to 2014 where I am now living in Canberra and visiting the War Memorial on a weekend. The footprints still remain on the tomb. Presumably these are not the exact same footprints that were there 12 years ago, but there are still dirty, muddy footprints all over an incredibly sacred site. Who are the individuals that think it is acceptable to do this and why has the tomb itself not been cordoned off so people do not have the access to trample across it? I know that we should not have to resort to cordoning off the area around the Tomb just because of disrespectful and rude behaviour by the absolute minority, but I think it is completely impertinent that this has been allowed to continue.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier represents the many young men who left their families to fight for their country, as well as the wonderful female nurses who aided for the sick and wounded, who never returned home. These brave Australians deserve a lasting monument. A monument that is respected by all, deserving an eternal dignity to those who fought and fell.

What can the Australian War Memorial do about this? Aside from cordoning off the area, the only other apparent option is to have a security guard or Memorial official onsite during business hours to keep watch. However, given that the Memorial is funded by the Government and by donations from the general public, I know some may suggest that a full-time wage for a security guard would not be financially tenable.

However, if a crowd fund was created in order to allow for a security guard to keep a close watch on the tomb during business hours I would be the first in line to contribute.

(Photo of ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’ courtesy of the Australian War Memorial website)

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44 Responses to Disrespect and impudence at one of Australia’s most sacred sites
#1
gladbag11:13 am, 29 Jul 14

By locking something up you are not automatically ensuring respect, just the impression of it. Everyone shows respect differently, and just because they do not do it in the way that you feel is just, does not make it wrong. Trying to control others by making them behave how you want is a dangerous path to tread. Live and let live. We are not all the same

#2
Alexandra Craig11:20 am, 29 Jul 14

gladbag said :

By locking something up you are not automatically ensuring respect, just the impression of it. Everyone shows respect differently, and just because they do not do it in the way that you feel is just, does not make it wrong. Trying to control others by making them behave how you want is a dangerous path to tread. Live and let live. We are not all the same

So essentially what you are saying is that if people want to trample over a tomb of someone who fought for our freedom, that’s okay if that’s their way of showing respect?

I also never said to ‘lock’ it up. I suggested that cordoning off the area of the plaque might stop people walking all over it.

#3
switch11:25 am, 29 Jul 14

gladbag said :

By locking something up you are not automatically ensuring respect, just the impression of it.

Too right. Remember when they used to make a big deal about how parliament should not be above the people on tours of New Parliament House? Try walking over the green space now, without having to ask permission first! What sort of “right” is that?

#4
Masquara11:42 am, 29 Jul 14

Alexandra Craig said :

gladbag said :

By locking something up you are not automatically ensuring respect, just the impression of it. Everyone shows respect differently, and just because they do not do it in the way that you feel is just, does not make it wrong. Trying to control others by making them behave how you want is a dangerous path to tread. Live and let live. We are not all the same

So essentially what you are saying is that if people want to trample over a tomb of someone who fought for our freedom, that’s okay if that’s their way of showing respect?

I also never said to ‘lock’ it up. I suggested that cordoning off the area of the plaque might stop people walking all over it.

Cordoning off would be the worst possible option. Awful.

The tomb is about 500 paces from the nearest mud – so mud isn’t being trekked in there. I’d say it’s just a trick of the light, where a cleaner’s mop has left wet dust traces.

#5
Alexandra Craig11:57 am, 29 Jul 14

Masquara said :

Alexandra Craig said :

gladbag said :

By locking something up you are not automatically ensuring respect, just the impression of it. Everyone shows respect differently, and just because they do not do it in the way that you feel is just, does not make it wrong. Trying to control others by making them behave how you want is a dangerous path to tread. Live and let live. We are not all the same

So essentially what you are saying is that if people want to trample over a tomb of someone who fought for our freedom, that’s okay if that’s their way of showing respect?

I also never said to ‘lock’ it up. I suggested that cordoning off the area of the plaque might stop people walking all over it.

The tomb is about 500 paces from the nearest mud – so mud isn’t being trekked in there. I’d say it’s just a trick of the light, where a cleaner’s mop has left wet dust traces.

I know I’ve seen footprints though (as in, the distinctive print of a shoe), it’s not just from a mop.

Perhaps if it’s a rainy day the moisture on shoes is mixing with the dust that’s already on the plaque?

#6
Alexandra Craig11:59 am, 29 Jul 14

switch said :

gladbag said :

By locking something up you are not automatically ensuring respect, just the impression of it.

Too right. Remember when they used to make a big deal about how parliament should not be above the people on tours of New Parliament House? Try walking over the green space now, without having to ask permission first! What sort of “right” is that?

I’m a bit confused by your comment… Do you mean the grassy hills at APH or the rooftop maybe?

#7
Holden Caulfield12:51 pm, 29 Jul 14

Alexandra Craig said :

switch said :

gladbag said :

By locking something up you are not automatically ensuring respect, just the impression of it.

Too right. Remember when they used to make a big deal about how parliament should not be above the people on tours of New Parliament House? Try walking over the green space now, without having to ask permission first! What sort of “right” is that?

I’m a bit confused by your comment… Do you mean the grassy hills at APH or the rooftop maybe?

The rooftop, which is mostly covered in grass. For the first 15 years or so after APH opened you could walk right over the building from the outside with no need to access the roof from inside after passing through a security screen.

I can understand why security feels a need to check you out these days, but it’s still a little over the top (pardon the pun) and the building has lost something unique.

#8
Holden Caulfield12:54 pm, 29 Jul 14

“…Who are the individuals that think it is acceptable to do this and why has the tomb itself not been cordoned off so people do not have the access to trample across it? I know that we should not have to resort to cordoning off the area around the Tomb just because of disrespectful and rude behaviour by the absolute minority, but I think it is completely impertinent that this has been allowed to continue…”

So essentially what you are saying there should be a rope all the way around Uluru?

#9
Alexandra Craig1:00 pm, 29 Jul 14

Holden Caulfield said :

Alexandra Craig said :

switch said :

gladbag said :

By locking something up you are not automatically ensuring respect, just the impression of it.

Too right. Remember when they used to make a big deal about how parliament should not be above the people on tours of New Parliament House? Try walking over the green space now, without having to ask permission first! What sort of “right” is that?

I’m a bit confused by your comment… Do you mean the grassy hills at APH or the rooftop maybe?

The rooftop, which is mostly covered in grass. For the first 15 years or so after APH opened you could walk right over the building from the outside with no need to access the roof from inside after passing through a security screen.

I can understand why security feels a need to check you out these days, but it’s still a little over the top (pardon the pun) and the building has lost something unique.

Ahh right.

Well, I guess they do it for security reasons. I don’t think it’s got anything to do with respect.

The roof can be accessed from inside the building, so if you were to let people walk across the top they would be able to get inside APH without any security screening.

#10
Holden Caulfield1:13 pm, 29 Jul 14

Alexandra Craig said :

The roof can be accessed from inside the building, so if you were to let people walk across the top they would be able to get inside APH without any security screening.

Yeah, because you can just walk through any door you see, no matter where it is, whenever you like. It is a door after all.

#11
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd5:08 pm, 29 Jul 14

Alexandra Craig said :

gladbag said :

By locking something up you are not automatically ensuring respect, just the impression of it. Everyone shows respect differently, and just because they do not do it in the way that you feel is just, does not make it wrong. Trying to control others by making them behave how you want is a dangerous path to tread. Live and let live. We are not all the same

So essentially what you are saying is that if people want to trample over a tomb of someone who fought for our freedom, that’s okay if that’s their way of showing respect?

I also never said to ‘lock’ it up. I suggested that cordoning off the area of the plaque might stop people walking all over it.

I think you are confusing your world wars.

No soldier died protecting our freedom in ww1.

In anycase, maybe it’s a child who doesn’t know better, or a disabled person. I don’t think anyone is going to purposely walk over a tomb just to be dis respectful.

#12
dungfungus8:14 am, 30 Jul 14

The AWM can blame their adoption of “cultural correctness” for the disrespect in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
In 2007 I visited the AWM with a friend from Melbourne. We we paying our respects in the Tomb when a man and his son came in.
The teenage boy was wearing a baseball cap. My friend approached him and explained to him that is was most disrespectful to wear a hat in such a place. The boy begrudgingly removed it and then complained to his father who then spoke to my friend, thanking him for explaining to his son what respect meant as he had already been unsuccessful in telling the lad himself.
My friend then spoke with the AWM attendant who had been totally passive during the “discussions”.
My friend asked why she (the attendant) had not intervened regarding the wearing of the hat.
She explained that the AWM’s policy was now to allow headwear to be worn in the Tomb so as “cultural customs” were observed. She declined to discuss the matter further.
Shortly after, a group of Japanese men (tourists) entered the Tomb. My friend stood just inside the door and flicked off their baseball caps as they entered. They immediately understood and they were
humble in their actions.
If there is ever going to be a third world war, we have already lost it.

#13
dungfungus8:25 am, 30 Jul 14

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Alexandra Craig said :

gladbag said :

By locking something up you are not automatically ensuring respect, just the impression of it. Everyone shows respect differently, and just because they do not do it in the way that you feel is just, does not make it wrong. Trying to control others by making them behave how you want is a dangerous path to tread. Live and let live. We are not all the same

So essentially what you are saying is that if people want to trample over a tomb of someone who fought for our freedom, that’s okay if that’s their way of showing respect?

I also never said to ‘lock’ it up. I suggested that cordoning off the area of the plaque might stop people walking all over it.

I think you are confusing your world wars.

No soldier died protecting our freedom in ww1.

In anycase, maybe it’s a child who doesn’t know better, or a disabled person. I don’t think anyone is going to purposely walk over a tomb just to be dis respectful.

Until WWII, WWI was known only as “The Great War”.

#14
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd10:42 am, 30 Jul 14

dungfungus said :

The AWM can blame their adoption of “cultural correctness” for the disrespect in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
In 2007 I visited the AWM with a friend from Melbourne. We we paying our respects in the Tomb when a man and his son came in.
The teenage boy was wearing a baseball cap. My friend approached him and explained to him that is was most disrespectful to wear a hat in such a place. The boy begrudgingly removed it and then complained to his father who then spoke to my friend, thanking him for explaining to his son what respect meant as he had already been unsuccessful in telling the lad himself.
My friend then spoke with the AWM attendant who had been totally passive during the “discussions”.
My friend asked why she (the attendant) had not intervened regarding the wearing of the hat.
She explained that the AWM’s policy was now to allow headwear to be worn in the Tomb so as “cultural customs” were observed. She declined to discuss the matter further.
Shortly after, a group of Japanese men (tourists) entered the Tomb. My friend stood just inside the door and flicked off their baseball caps as they entered. They immediately understood and they were
humble in their actions.
If there is ever going to be a third world war, we have already lost it.

Not sure who your friend thinks he is that he feels he has the right to act in such a disgraceful manner.

#15
Maya12311:15 am, 30 Jul 14

dungfungus said :

Shortly after, a group of Japanese men (tourists) entered the Tomb. My friend stood just inside the door and flicked off their baseball caps as they entered. They immediately understood and they were humble in their actions.

Flicking off other people’s hats. How rude! Hats off is a more, I believe, a generational thing, rather than rude. Older people would see this as respectful, while younger people wouldn’t. Respect would be seen more in being quiet and thoughtful. The hat is not so important. These days they are worn inside, while in the past they weren’t. That’s where taking off the hat comes from for the older generation. The style of hat is also different these days.
Men would also take off their hat for a ‘lady’. If a man did this for me today I would think him a little strange. The same if he ran ahead to open the door for me. (First one there politely holds it open for the other.)

#16
dungfungus11:48 am, 30 Jul 14

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

dungfungus said :

The AWM can blame their adoption of “cultural correctness” for the disrespect in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
In 2007 I visited the AWM with a friend from Melbourne. We we paying our respects in the Tomb when a man and his son came in.
The teenage boy was wearing a baseball cap. My friend approached him and explained to him that is was most disrespectful to wear a hat in such a place. The boy begrudgingly removed it and then complained to his father who then spoke to my friend, thanking him for explaining to his son what respect meant as he had already been unsuccessful in telling the lad himself.
My friend then spoke with the AWM attendant who had been totally passive during the “discussions”.
My friend asked why she (the attendant) had not intervened regarding the wearing of the hat.
She explained that the AWM’s policy was now to allow headwear to be worn in the Tomb so as “cultural customs” were observed. She declined to discuss the matter further.
Shortly after, a group of Japanese men (tourists) entered the Tomb. My friend stood just inside the door and flicked off their baseball caps as they entered. They immediately understood and they were
humble in their actions.
If there is ever going to be a third world war, we have already lost it.

Not sure who your friend thinks he is that he feels he has the right to act in such a disgraceful manner.

My friend is an Australian who stands up for Australian values.
I can see it is time for another war as a lot of people in this country need to experience what sacrifice and hardship means. Obviously you have never lost a loved one who fought for the freedom of our country.

#17
dungfungus12:14 pm, 30 Jul 14

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Shortly after, a group of Japanese men (tourists) entered the Tomb. My friend stood just inside the door and flicked off their baseball caps as they entered. They immediately understood and they were humble in their actions.

Flicking off other people’s hats. How rude! Hats off is a more, I believe, a generational thing, rather than rude. Older people would see this as respectful, while younger people wouldn’t. Respect would be seen more in being quiet and thoughtful. The hat is not so important. These days they are worn inside, while in the past they weren’t. That’s where taking off the hat comes from for the older generation. The style of hat is also different these days.
Men would also take off their hat for a ‘lady’. If a man did this for me today I would think him a little strange. The same if he ran ahead to open the door for me. (First one there politely holds it open for the other.)

It saddens me to read your comments. I hadn’t realized how much our traditional values have been eroded. Nevertheless, I respect your opinions.
Next time you walk past a mosque, try and walk inside with your shoes on and later, let me know how far you got.

#18
JessicaGlitter12:33 pm, 30 Jul 14

Knocking people’s hats off their heads sounds like assault.

But cultural customs are not joke in a multicultural country. In a situation where a polite Englishman is obliged to remove his bowler hat, an Indian man might be scandalised at being asked to remove his turban. The war memorial is ultimately a secular place which means everyone is welcome to come and behave in the manner their culture and upbringing considers appropriate.

I’d happily wear a scarf in a church, temple or mosque but would be horrified if someone tried to body shame me at a secular place.

Obviously there needs to be a line specifying basic behavioural minimums. I’d draw that line at the point where we start assaulting each other.

#19
Maya12312:45 pm, 30 Jul 14

dungfungus said :

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Shortly after, a group of Japanese men (tourists) entered the Tomb. My friend stood just inside the door and flicked off their baseball caps as they entered. They immediately understood and they were humble in their actions.

Flicking off other people’s hats. How rude! Hats off is a more, I believe, a generational thing, rather than rude. Older people would see this as respectful, while younger people wouldn’t. Respect would be seen more in being quiet and thoughtful. The hat is not so important. These days they are worn inside, while in the past they weren’t. That’s where taking off the hat comes from for the older generation. The style of hat is also different these days.
Men would also take off their hat for a ‘lady’. If a man did this for me today I would think him a little strange. The same if he ran ahead to open the door for me. (First one there politely holds it open for the other.)

It saddens me to read your comments. I hadn’t realized how much our traditional values have been eroded. Nevertheless, I respect your opinions.
Next time you walk past a mosque, try and walk inside with your shoes on and later, let me know how far you got.

I have been in mosques, overseas and here in Canberra, and I did take my shoes off. But then I take my shoes off in many people’s houses too. Being respectful to local customs (as long as it doesn’t erode rights) can get you respect. In one mosque overseas one of the mosque officials took me up the calling tower to see the view. Pretty amazing now I think about it; me being female and with uncovered head, although I did have a full length dress. (But it might have been who I was with.)
I don’t believe the hat custom is so strong here now, and when it was it was a different style of hat to the caps often won now. In the past females didn’t take off their hat; only males. But I do admit I like to take off my hat when entering homes and buildings if the hat is wide brimmed. If not I don’t feel it needs to be removed. This could be seen rather like the old style male brimmed hats, versus the caps of today.

#20
dungfungus1:39 pm, 30 Jul 14

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Shortly after, a group of Japanese men (tourists) entered the Tomb. My friend stood just inside the door and flicked off their baseball caps as they entered. They immediately understood and they were humble in their actions.

Flicking off other people’s hats. How rude! Hats off is a more, I believe, a generational thing, rather than rude. Older people would see this as respectful, while younger people wouldn’t. Respect would be seen more in being quiet and thoughtful. The hat is not so important. These days they are worn inside, while in the past they weren’t. That’s where taking off the hat comes from for the older generation. The style of hat is also different these days.
Men would also take off their hat for a ‘lady’. If a man did this for me today I would think him a little strange. The same if he ran ahead to open the door for me. (First one there politely holds it open for the other.)

It saddens me to read your comments. I hadn’t realized how much our traditional values have been eroded. Nevertheless, I respect your opinions.
Next time you walk past a mosque, try and walk inside with your shoes on and later, let me know how far you got.

I have been in mosques, overseas and here in Canberra, and I did take my shoes off. But then I take my shoes off in many people’s houses too. Being respectful to local customs (as long as it doesn’t erode rights) can get you respect. In one mosque overseas one of the mosque officials took me up the calling tower to see the view. Pretty amazing now I think about it; me being female and with uncovered head, although I did have a full length dress. (But it might have been who I was with.)
I don’t believe the hat custom is so strong here now, and when it was it was a different style of hat to the caps often won now. In the past females didn’t take off their hat; only males. But I do admit I like to take off my hat when entering homes and buildings if the hat is wide brimmed. If not I don’t feel it needs to be removed. This could be seen rather like the old style male brimmed hats, versus the caps of today.

I think you have written a excellent comment but if the point you make about “being respectful to local customs” applies with with mosques and private houses why is it not the same at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which I for one consider is more hallowed than any other place in Australia? In such places I would like to think it is still mandatory to remove hats which is about respect.
Indeed, I explained in my earlier post how the father of the teenager who was asked by my friend to remove his hat thanked my friend for explaining the meaning of respect which is the core issue of this thread.

#21
dungfungus2:35 pm, 30 Jul 14

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Shortly after, a group of Japanese men (tourists) entered the Tomb. My friend stood just inside the door and flicked off their baseball caps as they entered. They immediately understood and they were humble in their actions.

Flicking off other people’s hats. How rude! Hats off is a more, I believe, a generational thing, rather than rude. Older people would see this as respectful, while younger people wouldn’t. Respect would be seen more in being quiet and thoughtful. The hat is not so important. These days they are worn inside, while in the past they weren’t. That’s where taking off the hat comes from for the older generation. The style of hat is also different these days.
Men would also take off their hat for a ‘lady’. If a man did this for me today I would think him a little strange. The same if he ran ahead to open the door for me. (First one there politely holds it open for the other.)

Did you by any chance do a university thesis on millinery?

#22
Holden Caulfield3:39 pm, 30 Jul 14

Maybe they need to put a sign near the tomb stating the owners of the site request that it not be walked on out of respect for their history and culture.

#23
Maya1236:20 pm, 30 Jul 14

dungfungus said :

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Shortly after, a group of Japanese men (tourists) entered the Tomb. My friend stood just inside the door and flicked off their baseball caps as they entered. They immediately understood and they were humble in their actions.

Flicking off other people’s hats. How rude! Hats off is a more, I believe, a generational thing, rather than rude. Older people would see this as respectful, while younger people wouldn’t. Respect would be seen more in being quiet and thoughtful. The hat is not so important. These days they are worn inside, while in the past they weren’t. That’s where taking off the hat comes from for the older generation. The style of hat is also different these days.
Men would also take off their hat for a ‘lady’. If a man did this for me today I would think him a little strange. The same if he ran ahead to open the door for me. (First one there politely holds it open for the other.)

It saddens me to read your comments. I hadn’t realized how much our traditional values have been eroded. Nevertheless, I respect your opinions.
Next time you walk past a mosque, try and walk inside with your shoes on and later, let me know how far you got.

I have been in mosques, overseas and here in Canberra, and I did take my shoes off. But then I take my shoes off in many people’s houses too. Being respectful to local customs (as long as it doesn’t erode rights) can get you respect. In one mosque overseas one of the mosque officials took me up the calling tower to see the view. Pretty amazing now I think about it; me being female and with uncovered head, although I did have a full length dress. (But it might have been who I was with.)
I don’t believe the hat custom is so strong here now, and when it was it was a different style of hat to the caps often won now. In the past females didn’t take off their hat; only males. But I do admit I like to take off my hat when entering homes and buildings if the hat is wide brimmed. If not I don’t feel it needs to be removed. This could be seen rather like the old style male brimmed hats, versus the caps of today.

I think you have written a excellent comment but if the point you make about “being respectful to local customs” applies with with mosques and private houses why is it not the same at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which I for one consider is more hallowed than any other place in Australia? In such places I would like to think it is still mandatory to remove hats which is about respect.
Indeed, I explained in my earlier post how the father of the teenager who was asked by my friend to remove his hat thanked my friend for explaining the meaning of respect which is the core issue of this thread.

Removing hats at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is something I honestly would not have thought of. Maybe this is because I am female and traditionally females didn’t remove their hats. Rather it would be the behaviour of those present that would be more important to me. Even if they feel nothing for the place they should be respectful of those that might; ie, no talking loudly, running, etc…and no walking on the tomb. But hat removing doesn’t seem important to me. Do you think females should remove their hat too, or just males?

#24
dungfungus6:31 pm, 30 Jul 14

Holden Caulfield said :

Maybe they need to put a sign near the tomb stating the owners of the site request that it not be walked on out of respect for their history and culture.

No they don’t.

#25
dungfungus7:02 pm, 30 Jul 14

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Shortly after, a group of Japanese men (tourists) entered the Tomb. My friend stood just inside the door and flicked off their baseball caps as they entered. They immediately understood and they were humble in their actions.

Flicking off other people’s hats. How rude! Hats off is a more, I believe, a generational thing, rather than rude. Older people would see this as respectful, while younger people wouldn’t. Respect would be seen more in being quiet and thoughtful. The hat is not so important. These days they are worn inside, while in the past they weren’t. That’s where taking off the hat comes from for the older generation. The style of hat is also different these days.
Men would also take off their hat for a ‘lady’. If a man did this for me today I would think him a little strange. The same if he ran ahead to open the door for me. (First one there politely holds it open for the other.)

It saddens me to read your comments. I hadn’t realized how much our traditional values have been eroded. Nevertheless, I respect your opinions.
Next time you walk past a mosque, try and walk inside with your shoes on and later, let me know how far you got.

I have been in mosques, overseas and here in Canberra, and I did take my shoes off. But then I take my shoes off in many people’s houses too. Being respectful to local customs (as long as it doesn’t erode rights) can get you respect. In one mosque overseas one of the mosque officials took me up the calling tower to see the view. Pretty amazing now I think about it; me being female and with uncovered head, although I did have a full length dress. (But it might have been who I was with.)
I don’t believe the hat custom is so strong here now, and when it was it was a different style of hat to the caps often won now. In the past females didn’t take off their hat; only males. But I do admit I like to take off my hat when entering homes and buildings if the hat is wide brimmed. If not I don’t feel it needs to be removed. This could be seen rather like the old style male brimmed hats, versus the caps of today.

I think you have written a excellent comment but if the point you make about “being respectful to local customs” applies with with mosques and private houses why is it not the same at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which I for one consider is more hallowed than any other place in Australia? In such places I would like to think it is still mandatory to remove hats which is about respect.
Indeed, I explained in my earlier post how the father of the teenager who was asked by my friend to remove his hat thanked my friend for explaining the meaning of respect which is the core issue of this thread.

Removing hats at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is something I honestly would not have thought of. Maybe this is because I am female and traditionally females didn’t remove their hats. Rather it would be the behaviour of those present that would be more important to me. Even if they feel nothing for the place they should be respectful of those that might; ie, no talking loudly, running, etc…and no walking on the tomb. But hat removing doesn’t seem important to me. Do you think females should remove their hat too, or just males?

You wouldn’t be asking me a trick question would you?
It depends on the occassion.
For example, on a ceremonial visit in 2011 The Queen (and one of her aides) wore hats. The men/man present were hatless except of course the ones in military uniform.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/queen-elizabeths-uncommon-majesty/story-e6freuy9-1226176754315
On normal occasions all people should remove their headware as a sign of respect.
How hard is that?

#26
staminaman627:29 pm, 30 Jul 14

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Alexandra Craig said :

gladbag said :

By locking something up you are not automatically ensuring respect, just the impression of it. Everyone shows respect differently, and just because they do not do it in the way that you feel is just, does not make it wrong. Trying to control others by making them behave how you want is a dangerous path to tread. Live and let live. We are not all the same

So essentially what you are saying is that if people want to trample over a tomb of someone who fought for our freedom, that’s okay if that’s their way of showing respect?

I also never said to ‘lock’ it up. I suggested that cordoning off the area of the plaque might stop people walking all over it.

I think you are confusing your world wars.

No soldier died protecting our freedom in ww1.

In anycase, maybe it’s a child who doesn’t know better, or a disabled person. I don’t think anyone is going to purposely walk over a tomb just to be dis respectful.

You are quite wrong in your assertion that no soldier died protecting freedom in World War 1. A Europe dominated by Germany’s undemocratic and illiberal regime would’ve been almost as insufferable as a Europe dominated by the Nazis.

You are one of the many people who have been taken in by the leftie historical revisionism that portrays the European empires as being all as equally bad as each other. No serious historian accepts this view (note Lenin was not a serious historian).

https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2014/07-08/beyond-good-evil-german-mind-1914/

#27
Maya1238:02 pm, 30 Jul 14

“You wouldn’t be asking me a trick question would you?”
No it wasn’t a trick question. I seem to recall seeing old photographs where the men remove their hats, while the women keep theirs on.
Here a quaint comment on hat removal:
http://www.traditioninaction.org/Cultural/A045cpCivility_Hats.htm

#28
thatsnotme8:57 pm, 30 Jul 14

dungfungus said :

On normal occasions all people should remove their headware as a sign of respect.
How hard is that?

More difficult than you’d expect, obviously.

The simple fact is, that the removal of headware as a sign of respect is a tradition that most young people would be unaware of. And most likely, their parents – although understanding that it should be done – wouldn’t be able to explain to their kids why.

I haven’t been to the AWM for many years now, so perhaps this is already in place, but I don’t think it would be unreasonable for signage to be placed outside of the tomb explaining – in various languages – the etiquette required to visit it.

I also don’t think it’s unreasonable for schools to teach this type of thing. When I was younger, I was an Air Force cadet, so learned all about flags, customs and ceremonies – not only as they apply to the Air Force, but Australia as a whole. Surely that should be part of the curriculum?

#29
Holden Caulfield9:54 pm, 30 Jul 14

dungfungus said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Maybe they need to put a sign near the tomb stating the owners of the site request that it not be walked on out of respect for their history and culture.

No they don’t.

True, some would just ignore it and walk over it anyway.

#30
bigfeet10:25 pm, 30 Jul 14

dungfungus said :

For example, on a ceremonial visit in 2011 The Queen (and one of her aides) wore hats. The men/man present were hatless except of course the ones in military uniform.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/queen-elizabeths-uncommon-majesty/story-e6freuy9-1226176754315
On normal occasions all people should remove their headware as a sign of respect.
How hard is that?

Well in that photo none of the men appear to be carrying hats in their hands. So I would assume that they weren’t wearing hats in the first place anyway.

And I can tell you that I have been in Westminster Abbey with an English veteran who served from Alamein, all through North Africa, invaded Sicily and Italy, Landed in Normandy at DDAY+7 and then fought all the way to the Rhine.

I asked him what he thought about kids running around on top of graves ( because you cannot walk anywhere in the abbey without standing on a grave) and also about a group of women wearing the hijab in the abbey.

You know what he said?

“I’m glad they all can do what they want. They wouldn’t be able to if we hadn’t stopped the other side.”

(OK…paraphrased…the ‘other side’ was referred to in very derogatory terms…and there may have been some other inappropriate words!)

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