22 April 2008

ANZAC Day March in Canberra

| MrMagoo
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Following on from news in NSW today that the RSL in NSW will ask family members to not march with the Diggers this year buit behind them, I was wondering if anyone had heard if the ACT march will adopt the same approach?

I have marched here in Canberra before wearing my Dad’s medals and was warmly welcomed. This may sound a bit cynical, but what does the NSW RSL intend to do when all the diggers are gone?

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We wont run out of marchers, thanks to the fabulous foresight of successive governments who keep involving us in wars of marginal relevance to our national security.
The real problem we face though, if the wars continue, is that we’ll run out of space in Anzac Parade. I understand negotiations have been opened with Washington, for them to fund either an extension of Anzac Parade into Lake Burley Griffin, or the knocking down of Mount Ainslie, to allow us to continue to head off to their increasingly irrelevant conflicts.

“This may sound a bit cynical, but what does the NSW RSL intend to do when all the diggers are gone?”

Nothing, I hope. The whole point of the march is that its a way for the people who served to be recognised. As these men and women pass away the march should be allowed to shrink.

Smack I certainly wasn;’t saying that there would be no differs, I meant and porbably shoudl have said Diggers from WW2. My Dads been gone coming up four years now and his generation is passing.

I know a family who let their kids march wearing replica medals of a great-great uncle who served in WW2. The digger was a Sydney boy, but they live down the coast so are not even parading for his community.

The largest crowd at last years march in Canberra was the Nashos. Where is the line drawn nowadays?

smack@#3 – I don’t suppose we’ll run out of diggers any time soon (more’s the pity), but we’ll never see the long parades of yore. The nature of modern warfare kind of renders the possibility of putting a whole generation in uniform (a la World War 1 or 2)pretty much impossible. Should it ever happen again, then God help us all.

Mike Crowther5:37 pm 22 Apr 08

Yes Hamilton, I believe he should. (If he wants to). Weather he actually saw action was not up to him. He joined up and was prepared to go where he was sent. (BTW, being miles from the front has no bearing on whether or not your in danger of getting knocked.)

A guy I went to school with was in the Navy and went to the first Gulf war. They stayed miles out to sea and didn’t even enter enemy territory. The most dangerous thing they did was eat the food from the ships galley!! He was awarded the active service medal – which BTW he calls his shopping medal – They stopped in Singapore on the way back and had a wow of a time.

Should he be allowed to march as a digger?

I don’t think we will run out of Diggers any time soon. There are plenty that have served in such as Vietnam, Somalia, Rwanda, East Timor, Iraq, and Afghanistan, to name a few. So maybe 50 or 60 years after Australia stops sending its service men and women we will have no one to march. I’ll worry about it then.

The term ‘Digger’ does not just relate to relate to WWI and WWII soldiers. It is still used in todays Army in reference to todays soldiers.

don’t current defence force members march? perhaps they could get someone to march with the flags of the old battalions and have the space symbolically empty behind it?

i should hope the warm welcome will still apply to you, magoo. and choose heads, after. always wins!

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