My son Jamie was killed in a peacekeeping operation just after his 21st birthday. But the War Memorial Council is refusing to put his name on the honour roll because he didn’t die “at war”.
Jamie was always independent. He told me when he was four that he wanted to be in the army -- and there was no changing his mind.
I worried so much about him, but he always used to say to me, “Mum, I trained to be a soldier, and that means a little danger now and then. I can live with that.”
Our last time to see our beloved Jamie was on 14th January 2005 at Perth airport. Two months later, he was killed searching for hidden militia weapons in the Solomon Islands.
We’ve only ever been given a badge in recognition -- but I don’t want a badge, I want the 48 peacekeepers to be honoured like they deserve.
It would mean so much to our family, a recognition that he mattered and that he lost his life as a soldier on duty serving his country just like the other names on the War Memorial. He may not have been in a war zone, but he was a SOLDIER.
Please sign my petition, and ask the War Memorial to allow my son and other peacekeepers to be recognised equally on the honour roll.
Equality in recognition at Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial (AWM) has a policy of only placing the names of those who give their lives in service of this nation on the Roll of Honour only if they have died in war - or warlike operations. When the AWM first opened, the focus was on WWI and therefore the concept of peacekeeping, humanitarian and post armistice operations didn't exist. C.E.W. Bean saw the AWM as a place of equality where those who gave their lives in service of this nation are placed on the Roll without rank, post nominals or gallantry awards. The 80 year old policy fails to recognise modern sacrifice and the Board of the AWM have refused to change this policy. In keeping with the Federal Government's changes under Nature of Service and the announcement of the Operational Service Medal, it is also time for 48 Australians to be rightly recognised for giving their lives in the service of this country and placed on the Roll of Honour at the AWM.