I speak on behalf of the Vietnam Veterans Bendigo sub branch expressing dismay at the demand of the authorities to close off all streets with solid barricades to give access to the route of the ANZAC Day March and Commemorative services.
We find this to be offensive to us as veterans of war to have to hide behind barriers to march and pay homage to those that paid the supreme sacrifice so that we could live in peace in a truly democratic society, life is all about taking risks driving in a car, walking across the road entail risk.
Those of us who went to war took a risk, we laid our lives on the line in defence of our way of life.
We see the imposition of barriers to hide behind on ANZAC Day as a disgrace and a moral victory to those who wish to oppress us!
Democracy is all about freedom of speech and movement, being able to move freely about and gather in the public domain is what democracy is all about.
Authorities can be risk averse to the point of ridiculousness, individual public safety is important but not at the expense of undermining our democratic rights. We believe the authorities that instigated and demanded the positioning of these barriers are out of touch with what "real Australians" believe and feel and should be sacked.
The everyday Australian would be appalled at this so called safety strategy and see it as a strategy that borders on cowardice.
To propose this nonsense and then expect the participating community agencies to foot the bill adds insult to the veterans that will participate in our important traditions of ANZAC Day.
I write to pay tribute to two outstanding Bendigonians on their respective retirements in the last fortnight.
Last week Keith Sutherland finished his successful time leading the New Bendigo Hospital Appeal by holding his last charity auction. The appeal raised more than $4 million towards life giving equipment at our new hospital.
Keith has served Bendigo and supported so many charities over the decades with distinction.
This week Russell Jack retired from Golden Dragon Museum directorship. Russell has been an outstanding supporter of Bendigo Health. The Bendigo Chinese Association have donated time and funds to the Bendigo Hospital since our respective 1800s beginnings.
The huge donation the Bendigo Chinese Association gave to the new hospital is testament to Russell's energy and drive.
Bendigo Health salutes Russell Jack and Keith Sutherland. Thank you for your contribution to Bendigo and Bendigo Health.
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