2013 Gratitude Project – Travel: Australian War MemorialThis month will be a celebration of travel. I am so grateful for the many opportunities I’ve had over my nearly thirty years to explore the world. Click here to read about my 2013 November Gratitude Project – Travel
In 2008, I returned to Australia with The BYU Young Ambassadors. We toured through several cities including the capitol of Canberra. We visited a few sites including touring the house of parliament. The highlight for me though was the Australian War Memorial. Today being Veteran’s/Remembrance/Armistice Day I thought I would share that experience. I am so grateful for men and women who serve their countries to defend freedom and liberty especially those who see battle. Thank you to all of you!
The Australian War Memorial is beautiful. In the center of the entrance courtyard is a fountain that seems to come from the beautiful rotunda at the end or Hall of Memory where the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier is. Lining the walls on either side are the names of men and women who gave their lives in various conflicts Australia has been involved with. Scattered among the names are red poppies looking as if they are growing out of the wall.
The Hall of Memory at the end of the courtyard is stunning. I have a thing for rotundas, and this one so magnificently serves its honorable mission. In the center of the hall is the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier. The ceiling and walls are covered with more than six million enameled glass tiles creating a truly beautiful sight. For figures are in the mosaic representing service men and women from World War II. There are also fabulous stained-glass windows.
The crown jewel of this space is the rotunda itself acting as crown to the tomb. The tiles are golden and shimmering in the light and a most glorious fashion.
After paying respects to in these serene yet magnificent spaces, it is only fitting to visit the museum that is under and behind this memorial. The museum takes visitors through various conflicts and battles that Australians were a part of with a heavy focus on the two world wars. The largest museum hall has actual aircraft that were used in battle.
Each year on this day set apart to remember those who have served, I don the red poppy pin I got at the Australian War Memorial. It is a small thing I can do to pay tribute to men and women who sacrifice their lives in honor of their country, their family and their liberty.