Hello Cruel World
Monday, June 28, 2004
What Lessons from a War Memorial?
Sydney Morning Herald Letters, Monday June 28th, 2004
One thing I am missing in this flag debate: why is it good to be patriotic?
Matthew Roberts, Normanhurst, June 23.
(plain text)
Sydney Morning Herald Letters, Monday June 28th, 2004
Matthew Roberts asks "why is it good to be patriotic?". If he were to stand near the Pool of Reflection and the Eternal Flame below the Roll of Honour, inscribed with the names of Australia's 100,000 war dead, in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, he would find his answer.
Charlie Lemaire, Murwillumbah, June 26.
www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/06/27/1088274625358.html (plain text)

Yes, Charlie Lemaire, the Australian War Memorial does show the consequences of patriotism's dark side . A patriotic Serbian assassinated Archduke Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo on June 28th ninety years ago, starting a terrible engine of war that, fueled by appeals to patriotism (see Oh, What a Lovely War), reaped a four-year bloody swathe across the world that scarred the rest of the century.

Other Balkan patriots gave us more recent memories of Sarajevo.

On June 6 we remembered the results of intense patriotism in Germany & Italy in the years after that, although it was the militant patriotism of Japan that came closest to Australia -- as Wilfred Owens saw eighty-four years ago: "The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori."
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