Monday, April 25, 2016

Sacrifice Day - ANZAC 2016

We didn't forget.
Our Wreath
I am a Wonnarua woman born on Geyan land. I live and stand proud at Talgumbuun / Deepwater NSW on Ngarabul lands with their permission. 

Today we talk about my Father who was a sailor in the Royal Navy.  After all it is ANZAC Day again in 2016.   My Dad, William Henry Peters was a Gunner on the ship HMAS Arunta.  When I visited my Daddy he used to tell me stories about how it was absolutely frightening when there were bombs  dropping all around him while he was afloat on the ocean.  My father saw active duty in Korea. 

He used to say to me that if any ever tells you they were not scared, they are liars because we were all terrified.  I am glad he survived that war.  If he hadn't he would not have created me.  I was born approximately eleven years after he returned from the war.

William Henry Peters, son of Markus and Matilda Peters
Billy Peters

I am proud of my father because the war wasn't where it stopped. His struggles multiplied.   He lost the use of his legs just weeks before I was born and then he was a paraplegic.   He left this world at the age of 47.  I was 12 years old and I was in shock and I am quite certain I still am. 

One thing after another ..  I remember the fact he survived the war part today.  I celebrate the fact that his ship was named after a proud people of the Northern Territory.  I know a few of those people from up there.  Vince Forrester is a Luritja / Arrernte man, he is my friend and spirit brother.

More importantly, today I laid a wreath in what has become known as the classic three colours of the 1970's Aboriginal flag to honour those who lost their lives in the war on home soil (to use a war term). 

This is an ongoing war, now known as the Frontier Wars because it has been fought all over this land.  Today solemn and reflective, I proudly honoured the ancestors in front of a very unsuspecting crowd of people. 

It would be wonderful if this could happen everywhere across the various Anzac ceremonies, otherwise ANZAC Day is a joke.

Images @ Eminpee Fotography

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