Today, 11th November 2008, is Remembrance Day. A day to remember the sacrifices of those who have gone to war or suffered from war. A day to remember those who have been killed, injured or affected by war.
While the day has always been important to me, it has taken on extra significance this year due to my recent interest in World War 1 and World War 2 history. This year, I’ve read many books and watched many movies and documentaries about World War 1 and World War 2, especially ones related to the ANZACs involvement in those theatres of war. Knowing more now about what they went through, what they sacrificed and how millions of others sacrificed during war, gives this day extra significance to me personally.
In January this year, my family and I went down to Canberra on a short holiday and while there we visited the Australian War Memorial. What an amazing place. Visiting The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was a remarkably emotional experience and something I didn’t at all expect before going in. Here’s an excerpt from the Eulogy delivered by then Prime Minister Keating on the 11th November, 1993.
We do not know this Australian’s name and we never will. We do not know his rank or battalion. We do not know where he was born, nor precisely how he died … We will never know who this Australian was … he was one of the 45,000 Australians who died on the Western Front … one of the 60,000 Australians who died on foreign soil. One of the 100,000 Australians who died in wars this century. He is all of them. And he is one of us.
I have a personal goal to walk the Kokoda Track in the near future. Well, maybe not so near but hopefully in the next 10 years.
Every morning I walk past Hyde Park on the way to work, and glance up at the Sydney War Memorial but have never stopped to photograph it. I figured that this morning was a better morning that any other to take my camera along, and I took these shots.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.