Two letters to the editor, The Sydney Morning Herald, 27.03.19
Memorial a sham that glorifies wars fought for other countries
I’m looking for a letter which says “don’t extend the Australian War Memorial, demolish it”.
None of the Australian personnel who served, suffered and died in World War I, and subsequent wars, made their sacrifice for Australia.
It was all for the Mother Country, or to keep sweet with the US.
Everybody remembers Menzies saying: “It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that, in consequence of the persistence of Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her, and that, as a result, Australia is also at war”.
Everybody remembers Holt’s “all the way with LBJ”.
Everybody remembers Hasluck pressuring the Americans to request an Australian battalion to join US combat troops in South Vietnam.
I except the 624 regular army and Citizen Military Forces members killed on the Kokoda track while defending Australia against the Japanese.
I also except the tens of thousands of unknown partisans who were hunted and shot down defending their homeland in the bitter guerrilla war fought on Australian soil from 1788 to 1928.
The present war glorification park is a joke.
It is a sham hatched by John Howard and Professor Geoffrey Blainey and about to be brought to fruition by Dr Brendan Nelson.
Kenneth Griffiths, O’Connor
Face up to early conflict
Brendan Nelson (“Indigenous gargoyles to stay at Australian War Memorial”, canberratimes.com.au, June 4, 2015) said the AWM did not have the resources to deal with the armed conflict between Indigenous and white Australians.
However, $350 million was spent on the Anzac Centenary and $485 million allocated for memorial expansion.
There are still no plans to memorialise the Frontier Wars. The director’s argument is surely not sustainable.
The AWM, or the director, have also argued from time to time that war was never declared against Indigenous Australia, nor were the Frontier Wars fought overseas.
Once again these are weak arguments as we never declared war on North Vietnam but we rightly memorialise the conflict.
The AWM seems also to have overlooked that significant armed conflict occurred on Australian soil in Darwin in World War II. This is dealt with appropriately in the galleries.
One can conclude that our past is just too grim and we haven’t matured enough to acknowledge these wars.
But we must.
Germany has been able to face its Nazi past and emerged stronger as it faces the future.
We cannot grow as a nation until we have come to grips with the blood that was spilt in the Frontier Wars; wars that may have taken more Australian lives than World Wars I and II combined, and wars that shaped our nation.
Digby Habel, Cook
To illustrate the depth of Australian servility to their latest anglophone bully-boy-on-the-block-master, I add a quotation from the Australian War Memorial website which addresses the ‘award’ as a ‘battle honour’ of an American word to the name for the Track on which approximately 625 Australian soldiers died and on which no American soldiers fought (If you search the War Memorial website for ‘Kokoda Track’ up will come links to ‘Kokoda Trail’. Do you think the Americans would re-name any of their trails ‘track’, let alone one on which so many of their citizens had died fighting for their country?):
“Kokoda Trail” and “Kokoda Track” have been used interchangeably since the Second World War and the former was adopted by the Battles Nomenclature Committee as the official British Commonwealth battle honour in October 1957.