I was in Canberra again over the weekend and visited the War Memorial for the first time since I was 12.
It’s a sobering experience to wander through the miles and miles of exhibits that meticulously catalogued every conflict Australia’s been involved in since the Boer War. However, the most interesting fact was a little display detailing the WWII massacre at Bangka Island, the place where my grandparents came from, and from which they had fled from probably just weeks before this took place.
The two long corridors that made up the Roll of Honour was a reminder of how many people were lost.
Some people in my group were surprised to see so many Japanese tourists at the Memorial, but I wasn’t surprised at all. After all, I have been to the Japanese musuems when I visited the Tokyo and Hiroshima. Hiroshima in particular was heartbreaking. It brought home to me that neither side got through unscathed.
War is crap whichever way you look at it.