Today is ANZAC day, 2013, a day Australia stops, and remembers. We remember those who fell and amongst the detritus of hyperbole that seems to multiply every year, there are tales of courage, endurance and perseverance that should not be forgotten, along with hard lessons from which we should have learned.
Alas, it seems we have not.
We still have troops in Afghanistan, and the rhetoric is similar to that which I heard as some of my mates did not come back from Vietnam, a war that divided us to the point that the Vietnam Vets were not welcome in Anzac Day marches until 1987.
Disgraceful. A blight on our country.
I wonder at the long term impact on Afgan vets, will they be as screwed up as those from Vietnam, and WW11? My father to his deathbed did not talk about his experiences, the few comments over the years would lead to a conclusion that his time in the islands was boring, with just the occasional excitement, but that grossly understates what happened, even if it was nothing like the horrible, inhuman experiences of many.
By remembering, we hopefully do not repeat the mistakes, but human nature is that we seem not to take sufficient notice, and repeat them.
Just like in business, we should contemplate the motivations that led to our actions in the past, and learn enough not to repeat the bad ones.
Business however, is pretty benign compared to war, irrespective of how brutal we may believe it is. I am reminded of the quip by Keith Miller, our best-ever all round cricketer, spitfire pilot, and archetypal Australian larrikan who when asked during the invinvibles tour how he handled the pressure of a tight test, said “Pressure, this is not pressure, pressure is having an ME 109 up your arse at 400 miles an hour, this is just a game of cricket.”
Oh, the other reason I feel Anzac day is special, it is my beautiful daughters 28th birthday.
Happy birthday Jenn.
Lest we forget.