Tag Archives: war memorial

Remembering the fallen

Last November, on Remembrance Day, our family gathered at Circular Quay on a breezy evening.

Poppies on the Opera House

Not to take in the view, which was of course splendid…

Poppies on the Opera House

Poppies on the Opera House

But to see a banner of red poppies unfurl over the sails of the Opera House.

Poppies on the Opera House

This was the work of my father-in-law, P, a former member of the Royal Navy and local RSL member.

Poppies on the Opera House

He wanted to raise awareness of Remembrance Day, and the cause of current and past military personnel from all conflicts outside of Anzac Day.

Poppies on the Opera House

Given that our more recent veterans come back with all sorts of physical and mental stresses and frequently face a lack of support, it’s a worthwhile cause to champion.

Northbound – Part 1

We’re on the final leg of our journey northbound through Europe. We’ve left coastal Oulu with Hubby’s friend W, and made our way north through more woodland, to Lapland.

Cycling in Oulu

On the way, we crossed many rivers. Not many signs of human habitation here, just the odd farmstead or country home like this one.

Around Lapland

We visited a historical cabin deep in the woods. It was the hideout for the Finnish resistance fighters during World War I. There were eight men living rough in all weathers, trapping their food, while fighting against the Russians. The men must have been super tough to get through it all.

Around Lapland

Around Lapland

We visited a little country Lutheran church, where W’s parents got married in the 50’s.

Around Lapland

This WWII memorial was very touching. Goes to show that people everywhere were touched by that conflict.

Around Lapland

Remembrance Day

Spring also brings Remembrance Day. There will be ceremonies all over the country commemorating the armistice signed to end World War I. In Australia, it is also a remembrance of all those lost in armed conflict.

Sydney’s main ceremony is at the cenotaph in Martin Place. Aside from being a memorial, it was also the place where soldiers enlisted for the army in WWI.

I walk past this monument almost everyday. The simplicity and gravity of the place never fails to strike me.


War is crap whichever way you look at it

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.

The only surviving structure

War is crap whichever way you look at it.