What Was All That Sacrifice For?

When I was very young, our nation went to war

We cheered marching troops soon to leave our beloved shore

Cause ours was a land of peace so free from foreign strife

To marry, raise some Billy- Lids and have a wonderful life

Where you could speak your mind any place and anytime

It was worth fighting for; this land of yours and mine

 

At home, women became busier even more

Now in workplaces where they’d never been before

For essentials of life there were ration cards for all

Blackouts, bomb shelters and air raid drills when the sirens did call

The war news was often very grim mid much blood and sorrow

Yet in every street they defiantly sang it’s a lovely day tomorrow

 

As time went by, the messengers of death came hither

A dreaded lottery as homes were chosen for sad news to deliver

Brief official messages to be read and new victims to bravely bear

Shrieks of grief reaching out for loved ones no longer there

Many a darkened room with empty bed and loving laughter no more

Gone the dream of a shrill coo-ee to greet a loved one home from war

 

So many seasons later, the white doves did fly

The cost had been enormous and countless loved ones had died

Compare such unity and sacrifice to selfishness and apathy of today

Selling the farm, drugs, suicides, crime and be careful what you say

An empty treasury and no thought for the generations to come

Poverty and misery with shrugs and yawns of “What’s done is done”

 

Rabid fanatics with clear intent to destroy our way of life

Yet Canberra Suits still wear blinkers despite such threats of strife

Are we of the same people, who for us shed blood, sweat and tears?

Patriots who stood tall and defiant in the face of adversity and fear

Their Ghosts with terrible anger would surely howl “why?”

For a once proud, happy, unified nation which now does sob and cry

 

George Mansford © October 2016