Lest We Forget
I have been pondering Anzac Day over the last week, especially the brave men and women who have fought so valiantly through the many conflicts this planet has experienced over the last century.
When push came to shove, these brave souls did not sit back and allow tyranny to overcome their lands and lives. When the call came to stand up against the oppressors, they answered. When the moment beckoned to them, they fought for the nation they loved and they thereby built the peace upon which Aotearoa is founded.
While our ancestors faced down war and risked life and limb to overcome tyranny, we are faced, not with bullets and bombs, but with needles and mainstream media-manipulated public opinion.
I have watched as many in our nation have chosen to remain silent while their fellow Kiwis were pushed out of public society for making a very private health decision. A medically-apartheid New Zealand - ‘two classes of people’ - as explicitly stated by our Prime Minister, and the majority of our people stood silently by and banally welcomed it in.
“A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”
— Malcolm X
I have witnessed so many examples of this cruel and submissive silence over the last few months.
A close friend of mine was fired from her employment with one day’s notice, while her manager, who did not agree with the policy, sat in the meeting and did not say a thing. He stayed silent while the HR manager laughed at my friend. Her manager did nothing to stop this abuse. I listened to the recorded conversation in horror while my friend was laughed out of the organisation when she in fact had severe allergies and could not risk taking a vaccine that this government admitted was only provisionally approved.
I listened as my cousin, who is one of the world's top surf lifesavers and hugely active in coaching and competing for her surf club, was kicked out because these healthy team members now feared the virus. She was even banned from surfing or swimming in the ocean in front of the building itself!
Her surf club colleagues messaged her - but only privately - to say they disagreed with the club's actions, but publicly, they remained silent and through this silence, it was they who allowed the oppression and exclusion and segregation to happen. Meanwhile, the surf club down the road from me refused to participate in such discrimination and never mandated.
I have observed a significant portion of the Christian church sitting silently, complying when for decades they have been singing about ‘dancers who dance upon injustice’. When the time came to make a decision, the members of the congregation who chose not to comply were not able to attend church, forced to sit in basement rooms separated from the main service or allowed in a separate service for those who dared risk associating with them.
“Silent acquiescence in the face of tyranny is no better than outright agreement.”
My grandfather was a pilot in WW2. My great uncle was also a pilot who was shot down and died on the battleground. My great aunt was involved in one of the largest battles in Monte Casino. My other grandfather bravely fought in the battle in El Alamein and was captured and imprisoned in Nazi Germany for four years, his heart forever scarred by the torment of the camp.
All to fight to secure the freedoms for their nation’s future generations. For you and me.
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
— Nelson Henderson
My ancestors stood, fearless in the face of evil, and never ever gave in. Their lives were dramatically altered by the harrows of war and I will forever stand grateful.
At present we may not be staring down the barrel of a loaded weapon, but we are facing the fallout of a nation divided and a government that does not hold our best interests at heart.
I implore all of us to not allow the memory of wars gone by to fade into nostalgic insignificance, of those who sacrificed everything for their children’s and great great-grandchildren’s freedom.
Our national anthem is a powerful lyrical statement of the way New Zealand was founded:
“In the bonds of love, we meet… men of every creed and race… God defend our free land.”
During this period of medical coercion, government deception, and sustained propaganda each of us will have to make the choice - to stay silent or to speak up? One only needs to remember the example set by our forebears.
Which side of history will you be on?
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