Due to the coronavirus, no public gatherings to commemorate Anzac Day will be held around the country this year. This has also resulted in the cancellation of the alternative Anzac Day Reflection which was scheduled to take place at the Marrickville Peace Park in Sydney.
This circumstance, however, opens up an opportunity for the Australian community to move away from Anzac Day ceremonies that have become so commercialised and politicised in recent decades.
In particular, it offers the opportunity for people, young and old, to critically reflect upon the Anzac legend and the historical distortions that this myth entails.
As in past years, MPG will be active again on Remembrance Day – Monday, November 11. The group aims to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in Martin Place, Sydney. The wreath will have white and yellow flowers (white for peace and yellow in recognition of service personnel who have taken their own lives). It will bear the slogan used in previous actions – ‘Honour the War Dead by Ending War!’
On November 11th members of Marrickville Peace Group plan to attend the ‘official’ Remembrance Day ceremony at the War Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney. Whilst there, the group will display the slogan ‘Honour the War Dead by Ending War!’ and have a flyer with a message of peace ready for distribution.
Last year MPG members unfurled a banner with the same slogan at the Cenotaph. It caused some negative responses, so this year we aim to be more discrete. We intend hanging small (A5) placards, with the same slogan, around our necks.
MPG would be delighted if others choose to stand with the group.
Members of MPG attended the Cenotaph in Martin Place for the Remembrance Day service on November 11, 2017. They displayed a banner saying ‘Honour the War Dead by Ending War!’ and distributed a flyer to explain why they were there. There was a generally positive response, but some of the military community clearly resented our presence and our message. Another photo.