Anzac Day is a public holiday and day of remembrance in Australia where we, as a nation, salute the fallen. Anzac Day now bigger than just the anniversary of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand troops on Gallipoli in 1915. It’s a day where we remember all Australians who have served and fallen in war and on operational service. The song I was only 19 is one which we often hear on Anzac Day even though it was written by John Schuman for those young conscripts who went to Vietnam. It’s a powerful song and now iconic in our culture. The band Redgum was one which represented those who could easily be forgotten because they had fallen in war.
There is currently quite a push on the internet so that we remember the right people for the right reasons. Netizens are questioning why we promote and endorse stupidity so easily on the internet when there are others so much worthier. This is the message of I was only 19. It is worth noting John Schuman was a teacher in a southern suburbs school and moved from there into his musical, political and social justice career. In 2015 he wrote Every Anzac Day, a song about aboriginal soldiers who served in the Australian military. He has been teaching us well about how we can deal as a nation with the impact and implications of war for individual lives.