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Anzac Day: Why I won’t go to the official dawn service any more

By John Coyne

The Anzac circus is all about the descendants of veterans, not those who have served.

Anzac Day is an appropriate time to reflect on why our more recent veterans are being left behind in the day's social and nationalist resurgence. As the number of Australians wanting to become involved increases, unforeseeable changes in the fabric of the day and its meaning are occurring.

That's only natural: Anzac Day means many things to different people, and culturally constructed movements are seldom stable.

There have been well-meaning but disrespectful changes. In many cases, Anzac Day has gone from being a solemn event to one with a carnival atmosphere. Images of casually dressed young men with Australian flags tied around their necks are hard to look at when I'm reflecting on a friend who recently tried to commit suicide because of the burden of his military service... (Read more)

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John Coyne is the head of the Border Security Program at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a veteran.

Published in: The Age. 21 April 2016.

Originally published by: The Age on 22 Apr 2016