Effect Measure

Memorial Day, 2009

We are now in the seventh Memorial Day of the Iraq War and the eighth of the Afghanistan War. This Priscilla Herdman version of Eric Bogle’s “And the Band Played Waltzing Mathilda” appeared here last Memorial Day. Then, we were deeply dismayed by our government’s actions. We remain so today. So here it is again, and for the same reasons:

On behalf of all the Reveres, Memorial Day 2009


  1. #1 Marsha Hodgson
    May 25, 2009

    This video is a very poignant reminder for this day. As we all should be doing: “And I ask myself the same question…..”

    Good post, but, extremely painful.

  2. #2 Jack H
    May 25, 2009

    The name of the song is “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”. The song “Waltzing Matilda” is quoted at the end.

  3. #3 revere
    May 25, 2009

    Jack: Thanks. Correction made.

  4. #4 Tim
    May 26, 2009

    Thanks for posting that (although it doesn’t feel right to hear that song in a woman’s voice).
    I have to ask why an Australian song was chosen: does the US not have a similar song? Or does the US never question the futility of war?
    (Yes, I am assuming most writers and readers of this blog are from the Americas, but I’m new to this blog and may have the wrong impression from a small sample of posts.)

  5. #5 revere
    May 26, 2009

    Tim: We’ve had many posts on this subject over the years. I have used American songs (Pete Seeger’s Where have all the flowers gone and Dylan’s Blowing in the Wind) and here (for the second time) a song written by an Australian. Our reasons in this case are several fold. First, this is a moving and profound song about the futility of war and its costs. Given the kinds of injuries created by this war, it seemed especially appropriate. Second, Australia has sent its own soldiers to these wars, as have other countries like Canada. Third, the horrors of war aren’t national in nature. The “enemy” in this song (the Turks) are now our allies and what happened to Australians in World War I is happening to Iraqis, Americans, Afghanis and everyone else in the combat zone (and with the usual collateral damage to families on the home front).

    Glad to have you as a new reader. Hope you stick around.

  6. #6 S.Ed
    May 27, 2009

    I’ve been reading this blog for years because of my interest in public health issues and such things as disease outbreaks and pandemics…but I am also veteran several times over and an officer in the Army Reserves. I spent a fair part of 2008 in Afghanistan…and trust me, the song and the tributes speaks to any soldier. There is a universal language between those of uis that serve. I had the priveledge to serve along side Aussie’s and Kiwi’s that were in Afghanistan. Finding this piece here, was a surprise and it went straight to the heart of things. It is a tribute and an honorable one. On behalf of my brothers and sisters in arms, thank you for remembering and in a small way, acknowledging the cost.

  7. #7 tymbuktu
    May 29, 2009

    Living with a spouse for 20 years who served in Vietnam, including the battle at Khe Sanh, this song pretty much sums it up. Thanks from a long time regular reader.

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