Underwood, Peter: Anzac Day speeches

[Peter Underwood]

Anzac Day speech by the Honourable Peter Underwood AC, Governor of Tasmania, The Cenotaph, Hobart, Thursday, 25th April 2013

‘Australia needs to drop the sentimental myths that ANZAC Day has attracted.’ We should tell our children what war is really like. Overblown rhetoric ‘only serves to build a false legend of what war is like and to create a myth of super heroes that we call ANZACS… [T]here is a risk that the myth will overbear the reality, especially in the minds of the younger generation…’. See also here. Comment.

The Governor died suddenly in 2014. See also the Governor’s speech on Anzac Day 2012, where he argued that the day had become a ‘soft focus’ event, where people avoided issues to do with the causes of war. See also.

See also the Governor’s speech on Anzac Day 2014, where he considered remarks of Churchill, Keating and James Brown (Anzac’s Long Shadow) and called for a sharper focus on peace.

We must actively strive for peace on a daily basis and I think that we could best begin that process, and thus properly honour and remember those who were killed or wounded while their country engaged them in the business of killing, by declaring this centennial year of the start of the War to end all Wars, the Year of Peace.

In the spirit of true remembrance, the Year of Peace should be spent examining and talking about the causes of war and how we got involved in wars. We should spend less time studying Simpson’s donkey and more time looking at why we were fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for so long.

Comments on this speech came from various people soon after, the state RSL president a little later, Andrew Bolt, Bolt again, and Andrew Nikolic MP.

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