The Australian War Memorial Canberra is a place I have visited numerous times.
For those of you who know how much of a history buff I am, this would come as no surprise to you!
My craving for historical facts and stories stems from a desire to understand.
I wish to understand how wars start and what are their causes & effects.
I need to know how & why mankind treats each other as it so often does - very, very badly.
I seem to be on a life long search to understand why we seem to be ruled by so much inhumanity, injustice, racism, sexism, intolerance, prejudice, lies & hatred.
I struggle to understand how these values appear to dominate our combined histories even as most of the individuals I know are honest, decent, caring, generous & kind human beings who wouldn't hurt a fly.
The thing I like about the War Memorial is that it highlights time and time again the courage, integrity & determination of ordinary human beings caught up in events beyond their making.
War is not glorified.
It is explained, shown & described in all it's gory, unpleasant, devastating detail.
We are invited to commemorate, remember & interpret.
Each time I come away uplifted by the dignity of individuals - the ones who survive the atrocities and deprivations of war & conflict, the people who maintain hope against all the odds, those who continue on despite despair and those, especially, who work to change the world for the better.
|Roll of Honour|
|My great grandfather's brother died in WW1 - Enoch Walter Richens.|
For the first time, I finally found his name on the honour roll.
|Window inside the Hall of Memory|
|Dome inside the Hall of Memory|
|Diorama of Tobruk|
|Painting of Tobruk that the diorama was based on.|
My father-in-law tells the story of how he learned all these silhouettes by heart when he was a young boy. If the planes came over at night, he would be able to work out if they were enemy or friendly aircraft.
|In the ANZAC Hall|
|This is part of one of the Japanese subs that got into Sydney Harbour during WW2.|
|This is the torpedo damage to one of the Japanese subs. |
This exhibition was lit up by moving blue-green light (in case you wondering about the unusual effects).
|Ben Quilty's Captain S after Afghanistan.|
"For his official war artist commission, Quilty has created large-scale portraits that focus on the intense physicality of these soldiers and on the emotional and psychological consequences of their service".
|Vietnam War helicopter.|
|There was a special exhibition called ANZAC Voices on while we were there.|
|It will run until Nov/Dec 2014...when the newly redesigned & redeveloped WW1 rooms will reopen to the public.|
|All the staff we spoke to were very excited about the renovated rooms.|
I've always loved the WW1 diorama's & can't wait to see how they've been refreshed.
Looks like another visit next Kanga Cup!