Alpha and Omega
Remembrance Day 2008
Remembrance Day 11 November 2008, Canberra (D Clark)
The Stone of Remembrance at the Australian War Memorial, bedecked with floral tribute on a fine late Spring morning in Canberra, 90 years since the end of The Great War, that War To End All Wars.
To the right, just beyond the parade ground, stands the distinctive shattered Doric column of the World War II memorial for Greece, first—or last—of the great avenue of memorials lining Anzac Parade. Far down the Avenue across distant, barely glimpsed, Lake Burley Griffin lie Australia’s old and new Parliament Houses, the long sweep of sites thus ordered with poignant significance.
Remembrance Day 2018
Sunday 11 November 2018 was the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice that ended The Great War. From Anzac Day 2018 onwards, tens of thousands of hand crafted poppies went on show around the country to commemorate the centenary. In October, the collection reached Canberra, to be laid out as two great displays.
One swept across the ceremonial forecourt to the entrance of new Parliament House:
Parliament House, Canberra, 10 November 2018 (D Clark)
The other, a tide of 61,560 poppies across the lawns of the Australian War Memorial: one for each of the dead who had served in World War I.
Australian War Memorial 10 November 2018 (D Clark)
The true cost of war (the dead, the wounded, the ruin and all the grief) is no matter for glorification, then or now. The human condition is such that the horror of war, whether necessary or the result of sheer incompetence, may bring out not only the very worst but also the very best in ordinary men and women.
So let us end as we began—with thanks, with hope, and with remembrance.
“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.”
For the Fallen (Laurence Binyon 1914)
Lest we forget.
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