Saturday, November 11, 2006

November 11

Today I thought it would be appropriate to share the rest of my pictures from the last trip to Australia. These didn't really fit with the mood of the other pictures, but now that it's Armistice Day (Veterans day if you prefer the new label) I think it's time to share these pictures.

Just a mile or two away from Flinders Street station, located in a large park where the bustle of the city seems to disappear, you will find the Shrine of Remembrance.



The shrine was built between 1928 and 1934. It's original purpose was to show gratitude for the thousands of Victoria residents who served and died in 'The Great War.' As time marched on and the war of 1914 became known as World War I (thanks to the dawn of World War II) the shrine came to be a memorial for all who served in the armed services. More conflicts and places were carved into the stones of the shrine, and other memorials were erected for various conflicts and branches of the armed services.



The shrine is open to the public from 10 to 5 every day except Good Friday and Christmas so that anyone can tour the grounds and the interior of the shrine itself. A long walk up the steps in front will lead you to this quiet sanctuary.



Along the walls of the sanctuary you will find images of soldiers in action during WW I carved into the stone walls. In the middle of the room is a stone, set in a recess in the floor, with a brief inscription. Every year on November 11 at 11AM, a point of light from the skylight above moves across the stone and highlights the word love.



Below the sanctuary is an even more somber feature of the shrine; the crypt.



The walls are lined with bronze tablets listing the military units involved in the great war and all around the ceiling hang the regimental colors of these units. The feature in the center of the room is the father and son statue, placed there to honor two succeeding generations of Victorians. The inscription below reads,

THESE FIGURES OF FATHER AND SON HONOUR THE COURAGE AND SACRIFICE WHICH LINKS TWO GENERATIONS OF VICTORIAN SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVED AND DIED IN THE WORLD WARS 1914-1918 AND 1939-1945

I could say more, but you would learn more by visiting the shrine's website and reading more about it there. And I hope, as you read about the shrine and look at the photos that you can take a moment to think about the sacrifices made by the men and women of the armed services around the world.

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1 Comments:

At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peace, so precious, must be bought with blood and tears. Let us honor and bless the men who pay, and envy them the manner of their dying; for not all the jewelled orders on the breasts of the living can vie in glory with the little wooden cross the humblest of these has won. Robert Service, WWI veteran

 

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