Just watched the documentary about the Australia Light Horse, and the impossible feats of bravery they pulled off in the Middle East during the First World War. Horses and men with a bond closer than brothers. Horses like Bill the Bastard who carried five, FIVE aussie soldiers to safety because his rider asked him to.
I was just about crying with pride for Bill the Bastard. And then, at the end I really did cry because the government’s reward for loyalty and bravery was to shoot 740 horses that were too old to be sold at a profit.
These were horses that had fought alongside our soldiers during the war, enduring incredible privation – because their riders asked them to. These horses were heroes. But while sending aussie horses to the Middle East was considered a reasonable expense, bringing the survivors home was not.
Not a single Australian horse was brought home.
I cry for the soldiers – what could they do? Some gave their beloved four-footed brothers the coup de grace with love. Most had to live with the knowledge that their partner for so many years was ‘just a horse’, ‘just a commodity’, just a liability on some horrendous profit and loss statement.
Yes, let’s honour the true ANZACs tomorrow at the dawn service. They deserve it, but do not for one moment honour any of the politicians who send living beings to war as if they were just so much chaff, and then act like used car salesmen trying to avoid after sales service.
Lest we forget.