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Prime Minister flags Arlington-style war cemetery for Canberra

By WilliamZ 19 October 2013 26

Finally a suitable use for Haig Park!!!

[ED – The SMH explains.

While the concept of a National Cemetary may have merits any linkage to Arlington shows facile ignorance (looking at you Tones) unless they’re planning a brutal protracted civil war to kick it off.

What is being proposed would work better as a National Cathedral for the interrment, Westminster Abbey style, of great Australians from all fields of endeavour]


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Prime Minister flags Arlington-style war cemetery for Canberra
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Pork Hunt 9:56 am 22 Oct 13

Masquara said :

johnboy said :

I’d say anyone who’s been nominated for Australian of the Year. Winners of major international academic medals, nobel prizes and near peer equivalents, and the VC winners for good measure.

While we’re at it give the options to all holders of Companion of the Order of Australia (assuming we don’t finally get the knighthoods back), there’s just 406 of them right now and they won’t all want in.

AC awarded for “Eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large” which sounds about right.

How many women among your contenders there, JB? Two per cent maybe?

It’s not his fault women live longer…

Grail 7:57 am 22 Oct 13

Tony wants to build the cemetery on ACT land, rather than commonwealth land. So who pays for construction, maintenance and upkeep?

I already pay enough taxes to maintain the gold-plated infrastructure (seriously: three lanes each direction in a down of 300,000 people?) we were left with by the Federal Government. I’m no fan of a centralised war cemetery either: why can’t Australian towns have the honour of interring the famous people who were born/lived there?

schmeah 7:43 am 22 Oct 13

c_c™ said :

It’s a disgusting idea in every possible way. But then it’s just the sort of idea you’d expect from Abbott and his buddies in the RSL, both stuck in another era. Do they think there’s going to be a growth in demand for war burials, planning to whoop the Kaiser are they?

Just a FYI, my understanding is that the RSL is opposed to the idea. Mostly because they envisaged this proposal to require the long composted bones of men in Flanders to be ripped up and transported back to Australia. When I first heard this, I was convinced it came out of a focus group session from The Hollowmen .. laughable really.

Masquara 9:11 pm 21 Oct 13

johnboy said :

I’d say anyone who’s been nominated for Australian of the Year. Winners of major international academic medals, nobel prizes and near peer equivalents, and the VC winners for good measure.

While we’re at it give the options to all holders of Companion of the Order of Australia (assuming we don’t finally get the knighthoods back), there’s just 406 of them right now and they won’t all want in.

AC awarded for “Eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large” which sounds about right.

How many women among your contenders there, JB? Two per cent maybe?

Woody Mann-Caruso 2:15 pm 21 Oct 13

Love the hubris. ‘You’re a great person. Here’s your eternal reward – being sunk six feet in clay in Canberra. No, screw your loved ones who live interstate. I don’t want to hear about wanting to rest on some beloved hill with which you have some deep personal connection. You’re a national treasure, so into a national facility you go.’

krome 11:43 am 21 Oct 13

johnboy said :

I’d say anyone who’s been nominated for Australian of the Year. Winners of major international academic medals, nobel prizes and near peer equivalents, and the VC winners for good measure.

While we’re at it give the options to all holders of Companion of the Order of Australia (assuming we don’t finally get the knighthoods back), there’s just 406 of them right now and they won’t all want in.

AC awarded for “Eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large” which sounds about right.

Top Rioters?

    johnboy 11:45 am 21 Oct 13

    Haven’t even got my AO yet Krome, don’t think an AC is on the cards for a while.

Mike Crowther 11:29 am 21 Oct 13

Australia has 102,000 war dead. Fewer than a 1,000 are buried in Australia. Vets seem to want to be buried near their families. I have eleven vets in my immediate family and don’t recall any of them wanting to be buried somewhere special. Local, yes. And c_c, the RSL are not pushing this they are dead (no pun) against the idea.

However, isn’t it interesting that whenever there is a scandal (eg: pollies dipping into the public purse to attend their cousins wedding ‘cross-country) items like this get raised. I’ve lost count of the number of times a scandal on a Friday is met with ‘I think all Australian school kids should be taught about Gallipoli!’, on the following Monday. (Followed by the shock jocks commenting that “Its outrageous that apparently, our kids aren’t being taught the Gallipoli story… I have the Prime Minister on the line…’

But, it seems to work every time.

pink little birdie 10:08 am 21 Oct 13

I swear this comes up with amazingly regularity and gets rejected each time.
They keep suggesting places around LBG. Then there are the issues that people don’t want to bury their family members away from them.

Every town in Australia has some sort of very public war memorial where they list those that served and died in Australia as well as the Honor Roll.

Personally I don’t think it’s needed and it’s doubtful that people would agree to be buried there. It would need a large number of miliatary personell to agree to be buried there. That would take several generations (at the current rate of service deaths) or a major world war with large numbers of service personell to die. Neither of these are particularly pleasant options.

How long has Arlington been around?

Innovation 9:51 am 21 Oct 13

johnboy said :

I’d say anyone who’s been nominated for Australian of the Year. Winners of major international academic medals, nobel prizes and near peer equivalents, and the VC winners for good measure.

While we’re at it give the options to all holders of Companion of the Order of Australia (assuming we don’t finally get the knighthoods back), there’s just 406 of them right now and they won’t all want in.

AC awarded for “Eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large” which sounds about right.

And what happens when it’s discovered posthumously that they weren’t really deserving of their accolades or awards (a la, potentially, Rolf Harris)?

thebrownstreak69 8:52 am 21 Oct 13

Thumper said :

No, just no…

Leave it to the yanks, they do this thing well, we don’t. We’ll end up with bogans in Australian flag capes drinking bundies and running around like fucking idiots and telling everyone that doesn’t agree with them that they’re not Oztraylian mate…

Sigh….

Besides, how cool is it to rock up to a nondescript country town to find, to your surprise that (insert whomever) is buried there.

+1.

Mr Evil 8:31 am 21 Oct 13

I nominate Sir John Kerr as a candidate for re-interment in any proposed national cemetery, as just reward for the favour he did Australia back in 1975!

    johnboy 9:00 am 21 Oct 13

    I’d say anyone who’s been nominated for Australian of the Year. Winners of major international academic medals, nobel prizes and near peer equivalents, and the VC winners for good measure.

    While we’re at it give the options to all holders of Companion of the Order of Australia (assuming we don’t finally get the knighthoods back), there’s just 406 of them right now and they won’t all want in.

    AC awarded for “Eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large” which sounds about right.

Deref 8:25 am 21 Oct 13

davo101 said :

Anyway if it’s going to be like Arlington it needs to be just across the border in Queanbeyan on land confiscated from someone you really don’t like.

+1

I suggest Bob Winnell’s (sp?) place.

Initially I opposed this idea as simply another piece of jingoistic 1950s-style chest beating by this abominable little man. But then I thought that if they promised to bury him there – soon – I’d wholeheartedly support it.

JC 7:35 am 21 Oct 13

banco said :

Not really surprised that the left wing luvvies don’t like this idea.

“making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep”

Not really surprised that the right wing war mongers love this idea.

Personally don’t see the need, happy to hear some arguments as to why we do need one considering that we already have excellent memorials to the memories of those that fought for us and as a nation we don’t like to celebrate/glorify the dead.

Thumper 11:23 pm 20 Oct 13

No, just no…

Leave it to the yanks, they do this thing well, we don’t. We’ll end up with bogans in Australian flag capes drinking bundies and running around like fucking idiots and telling everyone that doesn’t agree with them that they’re not Oztraylian mate…

Sigh….

Besides, how cool is it to rock up to a nondescript country town to find, to your surprise that (insert whomever) is buried there.

DrKoresh 11:10 pm 20 Oct 13

banco said :

Not really surprised that the left wing luvvies don’t like this idea.

“making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep”

Guard us from what? Terrorists? Refugees?

banco 9:28 pm 20 Oct 13

Not really surprised that the left wing luvvies don’t like this idea.

“making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep”

Masquara 7:44 pm 20 Oct 13

Jethro said :

For example, would Kerry Packer have qualified? I’m guessing John Howard would have thought so, but there certainly would have been a fair bit of opposition to that.

I don’t recall Kerry Packer serving as Prime Minister or dying while serving in the armed forces or as a peacekeeper …. I don’t think anyone is touting a cemetary for the rich & famous.

Where soldiers’ partners are buried is more of an issue. e.g. I thought it was terribly sad that the architect from Tasmania recently murdered in Nairobi was separated from his partner in death. He was buried in Tasmania. She and their nine-month unborn baby were buried in Europe. I imagine many families offered an “Arboretum burial” (GREAT idea!) would refuse unless the partner could “join them” eventually.

Eek what a morbid subject!

Postalgeek 7:35 pm 20 Oct 13

So what’s the criteria that determines ‘significant’ war dead as opposed to ‘insignificant’ war dead?

JessP 5:35 pm 20 Oct 13

Finally a suitable use for the Arboretum…..

Jethro 4:58 pm 20 Oct 13

JB said: What is being proposed would work better as a National Cathedral for the interrment, Westminster Abbey style, of great Australians from all fields of endeavour

From the article: Two years ago the RSL national executive deferred a decision on a proposal from the Victorian branch for a cemetery in Canberra for soldiers killed in action, Victoria Cross winners, former governors-general and former prime ministers.

Hopefully if this does get up the criteria would be more what Johnboy is suggesting and not as restrictive as what is suggested in the article.

Of course, the politics of who would and would not qualify for burial at the site would be fairly complex. Great people often make many enemies. Who would make the call as to whether or not someone should be buried at a National Cemetry? The Prime Minister of the day? An independent body?

For example, would Kerry Packer have qualified? I’m guessing John Howard would have thought so, but there certainly would have been a fair bit of opposition to that.

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