Grey, Jeffrey: Commemoration

Grey, Jeffrey

The big idea: we are making a mess of commemorating WWI‘, Australian, 24 April 2013

The author says Australia historically is not very good at centenaries. ‘If Australia’s centenary observance is little more than a four year long Dawn Service, replete with all the hackneyed cliches and self-serving and a-historical mythology trotted out each Anzac Day, it will be a monumental waste of time and money.’

World War I, particularly the Dardanelles campaign, ‘looms large in any interpretation of who we are as Australians and why we came to be that way’ so it is important it is done well. It is an opportunity to educate people about war and its effects. As it is, the running together of the centenary commemoration and recognition of the ‘century of service’, plus the lack of an ‘over-arching and defining view of what it [the centenary] means and why it matters’ makes the whole exercise problematic.

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