August 5, 1999. Sir William Deane made a speech at a service for the victims of the canyoning tragedy which claimed the lives of 21 young people. November 11, 1993. Prime Minister Keating made a speech- The Funeral Service of the Unknown Soldier. Now, 17 and 11 years on, are the themes and issues of those speeches still valued in contemporary society? My speech, will attempt to address these themes, issues and the contexts of both then and now, and find out whether or not those issues, are still relevant.
14 Australians lost their lives in a canyoning accident in Switzerland, in 1999. It is now 2010, and when this speech was opened in front of me, it was the first time that I had heard of it. That was the first sign to me, personally, that these issues are no longer valued in modern day society. I’m sure that the families and friends of the people who’s lives were lost, still mourn them and this event is still a big issue in their lives today, but to the younger generations of society, this speech, really has little relevance.
It is interesting to note the context of this speech. It occurred in July 1999 in Switzerland. The direct audience was the families, friends and loved ones of those who lost their lives in this accident. The indirect audience was the rest of Australia, back home in their lounge rooms, watching this ecumenical service on the television. The issues and themes presented in this speech of course, are of a lot of value to those who lost family members and friends to this tragedy. My argument, is that these issues are not relevant to those who have no prior knowledge of this incident.  
We do not know the age of the 14 Australians who died in this accident; however we do know that they were “young Australians.” A good point to be made is this: take this situation for example. Fourteen retired Australians die in an accident overseas. All over the age of 65. Would it be a great Australian tragedy? Would the Governor general of our country go out...