The Australian War Memorial is one of the finest war museums in the war documenting every element of Australia’s history in fighting for freedom. At its heart is the moving Roll of Honour, a long series of bronze panels engraved with Australia’s 102,000+ war dead.
Visitors often place a small red poppynext to a relative and loved one who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It is a humbling experience to stand next to the name of a grandfather, uncle or family friend among the huge lists of names and place a small red floral tribute.
The scarlet red Flanders Poppy has been part of commemoration services since 1918 where these colourful blooms sprung every spring across the devastated and heart-wrenching World War I battlefields of the Western Front in Northern France and Belgium. The red flower became to symbolise the sacrifice of shed blood. Tiny poppies are sold every Anzac Day (and Remembrance Day on 11 November) to help raise money for war welfare work.
Every year on Anzac Day (April 25), Australia’s major commemoration day, special ceremonies are conducted at dawn including a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and around memorials in nearly every city, small town and village around the country. The service is moving and includes the haunting lone bugler playing The Last Post and the reciting of The Ode.
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.