Two Fathers

Posted Tuesday February 15, 2011 by Lisa Gunders in |

Earlier this year, a father lost his child. The child, together with his mother, was swept away by the water. At his funeral, attended by many and reported by the media, his father, said “I don’t think I can put into words just how much I’ll miss them”. The child has been hailed as a hero by Australians, who mourn alongside his family.

Late last year, a father lost his child. The child, together with his mother and sister, was swept away by the water. His body has never been found, but his sister’s funeral, attended by few and with attempts by the government to prevent media coverage, was today. Some reports have it that the father has not been allowed to speak at the funeral. Australians have been bickering over whether the government should have wasted taxpayers’ money on flying the remaining members of the family to Sydney for the funeral.

Does the second father’s different language and silenced voice make his suffering any less? What have we come to?

This morning I have seen a report indicating that media did get to cover Nzar’s funeral, and his father did speak to them, despite security seeming to attempt to stop him doing so.

Nevertheless, the political bickering and fallout continues. Constant opposition attacks on the government over spending is bad enough at the best of times, but in this instance it has grubbied the aftermath of a tragic and shameful event in Australia’s immigration history and lowered the dignity of those involved. It is rare that I say this, but for once I appreciate Joe Hockey, who has had the courage and strength to stand against members of his own party in the name of compassion. Good on you Joe.

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