Monthly Archives: November 2015

United We Stand?

United we StandDear citizen of 2015, I write to you from my time, 1965. Yes, quaint, long past, only seen by you in caricature, but my time.

I saw in your news yet another tragedy of your time, and my heart grieved. I grieve even more watching your reaction to the ominous and tragic events that are closing in around you.

‘Enfeebled’ is the word that comes to mind when I look across these 50 years at you, distracted occasionally by bloody violence but then swiftly rushing back to your games and pleasures – enfeebled.

Your headline today in my beloved Sun (Sorry; yes, you renamed it Herald Sun) – ‘United We Stand.’

United? Are you? In 1965 we were united. We understood what the world culture meant. Immigrants from overseas flooded in, and every one of them left behind their old political and religious baggage. “We are Aussies now!” my Dutch uncle remembers his dad saying while still in the transit camp in Brisbane, “we fit in HERE!”

Now you are ‘multicultural.’ How foolish you are to use a blatant oxymoron to describe yourselves. Do you even understand the meaning of words any more, or are you going to go on endlessly redefining words till nothing has meaning any more.

United? United around what? What set of beliefs unites you? What common goals or aspirations? You see, that is what a culture is. We in 1965 still cling to a semblance of unity, much as you might mock us. That is why our fathers were strong to fight tyranny in the last war. They understood what they were fighting against and what they were fighting for.

‘United We Stand?’ No, divided you are fragmenting, spinning apart in your dervish whirl of consumerism, your many and selfish worldviews. You are lost, confused, apprehensive, fearful, and you only pretend to be united.

 

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Lest We Forget? … We Have Forgotten

poppy
Five to Eleven today I pause, stop the car, quiet the engine
Radio National, Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith reading ‘the Ode’
Last Post, rustling of the wind. Inside my car a minute of reflection passes.
In haste, cars rushing by, shoppers dashing through the rain.
We have forgotten…

How swiftly we forget. Young men and women whose lives they held less dear than loved ones at home.
In a dangerous world, tyranny threatening, war raging, freedom and virtue alike threatened.
Last Post, rustling of the wind. Inside my car, a moment to thank.
In haste, cars and shoppers rushing past. Who do they thank?
We have forgotten…

I think then of Ivan, Solzhenitsyn his name, as a boy, looking up
“Father, why is our country in such trial, such travail?”
“Why this suffering? Why the persecution?”
And father looks down, and with tear and sorrow
Says “Oh my son, we have forgotten…
We have forgotten God.”