Australian War Memorial, Canberra

5 out of 5 stars 71 Reviews

Treloar Crescent, Campbell 02 6243 4211

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  • Lest We Forget
    Lest We Forget
    by wabat
  • Menin Gate Lion (right)
    Menin Gate Lion (right)
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  • Menin Gate Lion (left)
    Menin Gate Lion (left)
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    Rats of Tobruk Memorial

    by wabat Written Feb 23, 2013

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    Rats of Tobruk Memorial
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    In referring to the garrison of 20,000 allied troops (14,000 of whom were Australian) William Joyce aka Lord Haw Haw, the British traitor turned German radio propagandist, likened the troops to ”rats who would be smoked out of their holes”. Not to be down heartened by this reference the troops took up the name and thus were born the “Rats of Tobruk”.

    This memorial commemorates the World War II siege of Tobruk, Libya, from April to December 1941.

    The Memorial (dedicated by Governor General , Sir Ninian Stephen in April 1983) is based on the, since destroyed, memorial in the Tobruk War Cemetery built by Royal Australian Engineers during the siege. The marble inscription stone (originally one of the steps of the Tobruk Post Office) from the Tobruk memorial was recovered after WWII and and is incorporated in the obelisk (see last picture attached).

    The walls of the memorial symbolise the perimeter defences of Tobruk and the landscaping around it symbolises the area (and coastline) in which the siege took place. The “Eternal Flame” made from a bronze sheet was installed in 1984. A time capsule containing a Tobruk medal, a German propaganda pamphlet urging Australians to surrender and a map of Tobruk was placed in the step below the marble stone on 17 April 1991, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the siege.

    The siege of Tobruk was the first major reversal for German forces in WWII showing that the, to date, Blitzkreig, could be successfully resisted.

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    New Zealand Memorial

    by wabat Written Feb 23, 2013

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    New Zealand Memorial - Australia Side
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    This memorial, located at the southern most end of Anzac Parade at the intersection of ANZAC Parade and Constitution Avenue, is in two parts – two bronze "basket handles" one on each side of the Parade.

    The two kete or basket handles express the historic shared effort between Australia and New Zealand to achieve common goals in both peace and war, and to acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of service men and women who served shoulder-to-shoulder (the ANZAC spirit forged on the beaches and hills of Gallipoli) on foreign soil.

    The words from a Maori proverb inscribed on both parts of the memorial, ‘Each of us at a handle of the basket’ (Mau tena kiwai
o te kete, maku tenei), express this unique co-operative relationship between the two countries, especially in wartime.

    
The pavement (in reds and browns of the Australian landscape) on the Australian side (west) of the Memorial was designed by the Indigenous artist Daisy Nadjundanga from Maningrida Arts and Crafts, Arnhem Land, in association with Sydney-based Urban Art Projects while that on the New Zealand side (in green, black and white, the colours of the New Zealand landscape – stones actually from New Zealand) was designed by artists Allen Wihongi and Toi Te Rito Maihi.

    At the centre of the paving on each side is buried soil from Gallipoli, Turkey. the birthplace of the ANZAC tradition as soldiers fought together in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps in 1915.

    While not generally known for my love of poetry I do like the poem by Jenny Bornholdt which is inscribed on a bronze 'boulder' under the arch on each side.

    This sea we cross over
    and over. Tides turning on
    gold and sheep. On rain. On sand.
    On earth the fallen lie
    beneath. On geography. On
    women standing. On peoples of
    gardens and movement.
    On trade and union.
    This sea a bridge
    of faith. This sea we are
    contained and
    moved by.

    The memorial was dedicated on 24 April 2001 by the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand, John Howard and Helen Clark.

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    Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial

    by wabat Written Feb 23, 2013

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    Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial
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    One of the veteran quotations on this memorial reads:

    WHAT WE DID ON THE BATTLEFIELD IN THE MORNING WAS ON OUR LIVING ROOM TV SCREENS THAT NIGHT

    This is the first war in history that had round the clock, shot by shot media coverage. War literally was in everyone’s living room every night. Was it worse than any other war that had gone before? I don't know but I suspect not, the difference is that civilians thousands of miles away saw it and they didn’t like it. I won’t continue in this vain.

    The purpose of this tip (as with all my tips on the ANZAC Parade memorials) is to present the official facts, describe the memorials and let readers contemplate and reach there own conclusions. The bottom line is that people died and were wounded (often horrifically). It is fair to presume that no one joined the forces expecting to, or hoping to die, but die they did and we remember them. Those conscripted had no choice.

    Whether or not Australia should have been in Vietnam (or any other war) is a subject for debate. Elected politicians in Australia decide – not the military.

    This Memorial is dedicated to all those Australians who served in Vietnam from 1962 to 1973. In this period 50,000 Australians served in South Vietnam as part of a composite, predominantly American, force.

    A design completion won by architect Peter Tonkin and sculptor Ken Unsworth sought a memorial which expressed 'the link between the Australian Vietnam Forces and the original ANZAC Force' and also represented 'the controversy at home'. As in the USA, this was not a “popular “ war on the home front.

    Suspended from three stelae and forming the centrepiece of the memorial is a granite ring or halo symbolising the spirits of the dead being lifted from the earth. Sealed within one of the stones of the ring is a scroll bearing the names of the 508 Australians who died in the conflict. Surrounding the memorial are six seats dedicated to the memory of the six Australian servicemen missing in action.

    On the inner face of the western stelae is a larger than life representation of members of the 7th Royal Australian Regiment being airlifted by U.S. helicopters from the fishing village of Lang Phuoc Hai – a typical image from the war. On the northern stelae is a series of veteran quotations (one of which I have used above) in stainless steel lettering - slang of the war. The inner wall of the southern stelae is unadorned concrete and functions as a site for personal contemplation.

    Surrounding the whole site and forming a frame-like canopy are numerous blue gums. Light is filtered through this canopy so that there is a continuous display of shimmering, flickering light and shadow on the external walls of the memorial.

    The Memorial was dedicated on 3 October 1992, the fifth anniversary of the Welcome Home Parade for Vietnam Veterans. Vietnam Veterans’ Remembrance Day is celebrated each year on 18 August, the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan in which Australia suffered 17 casualties from 108 combatants. This was thought to be a humiliating defeat until the next day when it become clear that the 108 Australian D Company troops had confronted some 2500 enemy troops of which 245 were killed. D Company became only the second Army unit in Australian military history to be awarded a United States Presidential Unit Citation.

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    Australian National Korean War Memorial

    by wabat Written Feb 22, 2013

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    Australian National Korean War Memorial
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    A plaque within the memorial provides a brief history of the Korean War and Australia’s involvement there-in. I reproduce that in full here for the interest of readers of this page.

    The Korean War was the first occasion that members of the United Nations acted collectively to repel aggression. Australian units served in combat from 1950 to 1953 and continued in Korea from the armistice to 1957 as part of the United Nations Command to preserve the independence of the
    Republic of Korea.

    From September 1950, and following the amphibious landing at Inchon and the breakout from the Pusan Perimeter, the multinational force cleared South Korea and advanced into North Korea towards the border with China. In November 1950 after the Chinese entry to the war, the UN ground forces
    faced Chinese offences which forced them to retreat in appalling winter conditions to positions
    south of the 38th parallel.

    With a continuous front from sea to sea, the dramatic advances and withdrawals of the first six
    months came to an end. After early 1951 offensives and counter offensives the war entered a phase of contesting heavily defended emplacements along the front which eventually became the cease fire line. Despite the first initiatives in 1951 to end the war it dragged on until 27 July 1953 when an
    armistice was signed.

    From 29 June 1950 to 27 July 1953, some 17000 Australian sailors, soldiers and airmen served in the Korean War. Australian casualties were 339 killed, 1216 wounded and 29 prisoners of war. Twenty
    other countries contributed combat and medical units to the United Nations command in Korea.

    Australian sailors, soldiers and airmen won world respect for their courage, endurance and combat
    skills. The service of a small group of Australians in the years 1950 to 1953, and the sacrifice of those who did not return are not forgotten.

    This memorial commemorates the 339 Australians
 who died and honours those who served in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953.

    The boulder forming the focal point of the memorial is from a Korean battlefield and the word in Korean script translates as ‘Peace and Independence’. Those who died and have no known grave are commemorated by the obelisk while the two fields of poles symbolise those Australians who died with the three figures representing sailors, soldiers and airmen who served in Korea. The use of white and gray and granite and gravel and cold steel recall the harsh climate and terrain of Korea.

    Sculptor, Les Kossatz and the architectural firm, Daryl Jackson Pty Ltd. designed the
    memorial to a statement of requirements by the Australian National Korean War Memorial
    Committee.

    The Memorial was dedicated on 18th April 2000 in the presence of Governor General, Sir William Deane and Prime Minister John Howard. His Excellency Kim Dae-Jung, President of the Republic of Korea attended a ground breaking ceremony in 1999.

    I find this monument a very poignant reminder of a war that at least legally continues to this day - the 1953 armistice has never been converted to a declaration to end the war.

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    Australian Army National Memorial

    by wabat Written Feb 22, 2013

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    Australian Army National Memorial
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    This memorial is dedicated to the all the ‘Diggers’ - the Australian Army
 - who have fought on numerous fronts since the unified Australian Army was formed in 1901. The Australian Army has taken part in two World Wars, the Korean conflict, the Malayan Emergency, confrontation in Malaysia and Borneo, and in Vietnam seeing service in the African Veldt, the trenches of France, Gallipoli, the Western Desert and in the jungles of the Pacific and South East Asia. Since Vietnam they have participated in various international peacekeeping operations.

    The term "Digger" was first used to describe Australian troops in the trenches in World War I.

    As the Army is about people – son’s, brothers, fathers and husbands and more lately their female counterparts - the memorial is aptly entitled ‘Every Mother’s Son.’

    The two bronze figures (Aussie Mates) of sculptors Charles and Joan Smith monument represent Australian soldiers facing east towards the rising sun. The solders are standing on a podium paved in a radial pattern in the style of the Army Insignia. The seven cylindrical pillars represent the seven major conflicts in which the Australian Army has been involved in the twentieth century with the water in which they stand reminding us of the long sea journeys involved in all seven campaigns. Thirty six panels on the curving wall behind the figures outline the major events in the history of the Army.

    The memorial was dedicated by Governor General, Bill Hayden in November 1989.

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    Australian Hellenic Memorial

    by wabat Written Feb 22, 2013

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    Australian Hellenic Memorial - from Anzac Parade
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    This memorial primarily commemorates the dead of two WWII campaigns but is also dedicated to those who died on Greek soil in WWI.

    Firstly, the 6 April 1941 advance of Allied forces (which included the 6th Australian Division) against a German advance in mainland Greece. This campaign was a fighting withdrawal with Allied troops greatly outnumbered.

    A significant number of Australian Troops were evacuated to Crete where they later joined Greek, British and New Zealand troops in the second commemorated campaign, another ill fated campaign against German troops.

    Over 5000 Australians were taken prisoner or war in these campaigns.

    This marble memorial, designed by Ancher, Mortlock and Woolley Pty Ltd, resembles the shape of an amphitheatre amidst an olive grove. The doric column symbolises the birth of civilisation and is embossed with the cross of the Greek Orthodox Church, representing a soldier's grave. The column stands on a mosaic pavement which represents the rugged coastline and terrain of the battlefields. The damaged steel fragment reflects the futility and destruction of war. The heavy symbolism of this monument is better explained on the dedication plaque on the back entry to the monument - see picture 3 attached.

    The memorial was dedicated in May 1988 by Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke and Greek Deputy Prime Minister, Yannis Haralambopoulos.

    Unlike all the other memorials along Anzac Parade this memorial is best approached from the rear.

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    Australia War Memorial

    by cal6060 Updated Jul 7, 2011
    Australia War Memorial, Canberra
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    Basically, it is a war museum. This museum is large and well organised. The architectural of the whole compound are well done. The landscape continues with the Anzac Parade. It showcases the few memories like Vietnam War Memorial & Korean War Memorial. This is a must visit place in Canberra.

    Open daily 10am-5pm.

    Please check our their official website more detail information...

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    The War Inside

    by Kakapo2 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The peaceful commemoration area.

    For foreigners the most interesting thing at the Australian War Memorial is to learn in how surprisingly many wars Australia has been involved and that for this reason it is no wonder that more than 100,000 Australian soldiers have been killed.

    I am not very interested in warbirds, tanks and all the technology, so I did not study those highly praised exhibits in much detail. But I know that the Memorial is a great site for guys with more interest in this special field.

    When I was there at the end of 2005 they had a special exhibition about Art & War, with lots of paintings about Austrealia, Britain and Canada in the Second World War. This was absolutely fascinating, and I spent hours there.

    The Memorial uses film, sound, light and modern technology to depict the Australian experience of war. In the rather new ANZAC Hall you can find relics of the three Japanese midget submarines that attacked Sydney Harbour in 1942 as well as Lancaster Bomber G for George. The Bradbury Aircraft Hall tells the story of Australians at war in the Pacific from 1941 to 1945 by using so-called object-theatre.

    Open daily (except Christmas Day) from 10am to 5pm.

    Free guided tours (about 90 mins) available - but you can walk around at your pace and leisure as you please. If you have questions you can ask the friendly guides who are positioned in all halls and rooms.

    They also have a research centre. This is open from 10am to 4.50pm on weekdays and 1pm to 4pm on Saturdays.

    The Discovery Room is specially designed for children of all ages, open daily from 11am to 4.30pm.

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    THE HALL OF MEMORY…..PART 2

    by balhannah Updated Sep 7, 2010

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    Mosaic dome
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    THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL................
    It would be a shame if you missed out on the “Hall of Memory.”
    This magnificent building can be found at the end of the “Pool of Reflection.”

    Inside on the walls are beautiful Mosaics and the Stained glassed windows are beautiful. These were designed by an Australian artist, Napier Walter.

    The Mosaics were completed in 1958, and consist of over 6 million tesserae imported from Italy. There is a symbolic meaning attached to each element of the design.
    The stunning mosaic in the dome, is divided into 7 segments, representing Australia’s 7 pointed federal star.

    The open hands symbolize the earth giving up the souls of the dead, who rise in the form of winged sarcopahagi towards the sun, the symbol of eternal life. The circular cornice incorporates such Australian motifs as wattle leaves and black swans, and an unbroken gold chain, symbolizing continuity.

    The stained glass windows have meaning too. Each of the 15 panels in the three stained glass windows portrays an Australian in the uniform and equipment of WW1.

    The south window depicts PERSONAL QUALITIES

    The west window depicts SOCIAL QUALITIES

    The east window depicts FIGHTING QUALITIES

    This hall is magnificent, a place to stand and admire, and to reflect.

    Please remember to be quiet, and to keep children under control. You are allowed to take photos.

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    ANZAC HALL

    by balhannah Updated Sep 6, 2010

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    Lancaster bomber in the sound & light show

    ANZAC HALL, another fantastic exhibition showcasing large objects from the war years and using sound and light to tell compelling stories of Australia’s servicemen and women.
    A lot is a permanent exhibition..... showcasing the Great war in the air, the stories of military flight and aerial combat during the First World War.

    There is a stunning re-creation of a night operation over Berlin in 1943, featuring the famous Lancaster bomber "G for George". This exhibition, called "Striking by night," tells of the exploits and experiences of the people, from both sides, who lived through the bombing offensive.

    Of particular interest is the famous midget submarine, assembled from sections of two of the three submarines that raided Sydney in 1942, this area also had an excellent sound and light show.

    Just a little bit about the Sub................and how lucky Sydney and Australia was..............there could have been a very different outcome.

    The remains were only discovered in 2006, by some divers off Sydney's northern beaches.

    On the night of 31 May 1942 three Japanese midget submarines entered Sydney harbour. One became entangled in the boom net across the harbour, and her occupants blew her up. A second entered the harbour and fired torpedoes at the cruiser USS Chicago. They missed the Chicago but one hit the barracks ship HMAS Kuttabul, killing 21.
    This midget submarine disappeared, its fate a complete mystery.
    A third midget submarine also entered the harbour but was destroyed by depth-charges before it had fired any torpedoes.

    The submarine in the Memorial's collection is a composite of two that entered the harbour.

    A MUST VISIT IN THE WAR MEMORIAL

    ENTRY to the War Memorial is FREE, but please give a donation to keep it running,

    IT IS A WORLD CLASS MUSEUM

    Open 10 -5 pm Daily

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    War Memorial - getting personal

    by iandsmith Updated Apr 8, 2010

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    A place to die, diorama of battlefield at Ypres

    I never knew the man, only his wife and his son. At the age of 35 he found himself in the god forsaken mud that was the battlefield at Ypres. He had travelled from South Australia and married Bathia and they lived at Wilberforce to the west of Sydney on a farm.
    By all accounts it was a happy existence until the war intervened. On the way over he had written home on the leaves from pussy willow trees. Echoes from the past that resonate still from a shelf in my study room. Heart rending epithets such as "To Bessie from W. My thoughts are always of you and Tom"; "There are some nice places but none so nice as home"; "To Bessie from W. far across the sea"; "From A55 to Kelmont, where would I rather be?". I find it a bit gut-wrenching reading them now.
    Thus it was that these are the last pieces of tangible evidence of his existence. On the 4th October, 1917, along with many others, he was blown to smithereens by shellfire defending a country halfway round the world that he probably hardly knew existed. Two thirds who died did so by shellfire in that conflict........and for what? To placate a few male egos? Such were the times. And what have we learnt from them?
    My father, his son, also joined the services and served in the Second World War in New Guinea and stayed in the R.A.A.F. till his retirement. I served for one year in my youth, falling short of the standard required for an armament fitter and luckily getting out. My sons are anti war, no doubt influenced to some degree by their father.
    As one gets older one's roots seem to take on a significance not apparent in one's younger days and so it was that I made a pilgrimage to the War Memorial basement level to find out where my grandfather might be commemorated. It turns out there's a plaque on the Menin Gate at the town of Ieper (formerly Ypres) in Belgium. It was a teary-eyed moment for me to find that out and the rest of my time in the War Memorial I seemed to be burdened with that information, unable to take in some of the exhibits as I might have.
    It ultimately led me to going to Ypres (see Brugge pages) and seeing and learning things that were appalling. May we live in peace.

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    Anzac Parade

    by leffe3 Written Jun 6, 2009

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    Named in honour of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), Anzac Parade is a wide boulevard that sweeps up from the lake shoreline to the entrance of the Australian War Memorial at the foot of Mount Ainslie.

    Flanked by Eucalypts (Australian) with boxed Hebe (NZ) shrubs running up the central reservation, Anzac Parade is the main thoroughfare for ceremonial occasions, including the annual Anzac Parade on 25 April.

    In the shade of the Eucalypts, memorials to fallen soldiers and campaigns are to be found both sides of the parade. The memorials commemorate specific campaigns (Kemal Ataturk - Gallipoli and WWI: Hellenic - Greek campaign of WWII: Korea: Vietnam) along with those for the Army, Service Nurses, Air Force etc...). Most, but not all, of the sculptures date from the 1980s.

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    Australian War Memorial

    by leffe3 Updated Jun 6, 2009

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    Putting it quite simply, the Australian War Memorial is extraordinary. Half memorial, half museum, it appeases my personal concern that war memorials can sometimes fall between two stools and glorify rather than commemorate war and its fallen soldiers.

    It sits proudly at the top of the wide ceremonial avenue, Anzac Parade, with a sweeping uninterrupted view of Parliament (new and old) in the distance on the other side of Lake Burley Griffin.

    The museum contains selections from the vast National Collection of relics, official and private records, art, photographs, film, and sound are employed to relate the story of a young nation's experience in world wars, regional conflicts, and international peacekeeping. The story begins at the time sailing ships first brought European settlers, convicts, and military from England in 1789 and extends to the present. The scaled models of various battles over a period of time are some of the best of their genre I have ever seen.

    It's also a tribute to the 100,000+ Australian men and women who have lost their lives in serving their country. 'A central commemorative area surrounded by arched alcoves houses the names of the fallen on the bronze panels of the Roll of Honour. At the head of the Pool of Reflection, beyond the Flame of Remembrance, stands the towering Hall of Memory, with its interior wall and high dome clad in a six-million-piece mosaic. Inside lies the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, an official war grave and national shrine.'

    The impetus for the creation of the Memorial was the WWI and the terrible losses Australia suffered (the highest ratio of deaths against population of all the countries involved). Ironically, the building was not completed by the time Australia entered WWII and the charter needed to be extended to include WWII victims, and then in the 1950s to include all wars. The problem of extending the brief to include all wars and necessary displays etc was not solved until 1971, when two new wings were built to display relics and artefacts.

    Now, in addition the original memorial and the display wings, there's the Sculpture Gardens and a large gallery completed in 2001.

    The Memorial is open every day except Christmas Day, 10am - 5pm.
    Entry is free.

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    AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL, ICON Not to be MISSED

    by AusPinay Written May 5, 2008

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    the  iconic WAR MEMORIAL IN CANBERRA
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    A visit to this outstanding memorial is not just an educational experience but a lasting lesson for all- that WAR is evil and PEACE must be preserved and defended even by our precious lives!

    At least those were the things that stuck to my family as we view the awful sacrifices made since time past by our men and women in the military and defense forces here and abroad to defend democracy! The peacekeeping that Aussies do overseas particularly in troubled places are just commendable. We do need this MEMORIAL to remember why, what, and how people do love PEACE and abhor WAR!

    The irony is we need to shed precious lives, most of the time use VIOLENCE to justify preserving PEACE.As much as possible I wish Australia will thoroughly examine which nations are deserving of its help and support and not gamble with innocent lives!

    I hope generations to come will learn this valuable lesson about WAR and PEACE!

    The photos will speak for themselves as we browse through the exhibits! You need at least half a day to see everything!Admission is FREE!

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    Canberra War Memorial a must see destination

    by fachd Updated Oct 2, 2007

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    Simpson and his Donkey a Legend
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    The Australian War Memorial is the national capital icon and is considered one of the nation’s best. The Australian War Memorial was opened in 1941. It is a collection of historical information, memorabilia, paintings reflecting to Australian men and women involvement in world war conflict. The collections range from Boer War (South African War), WWI to recent Gulf War, which covers large information. Also is a place for conserving Australian cultural heritage.

    Inside the War Memorial visitors are able to see many exhibitions on display. The exhibitions are well assembled. You will see uniforms that Australian soldiers and nurses wear, they are also American, German, Russian, British and others. There’s scenery of important battles. Tanks from WWI, the Japanese mini sub, the Korean War and many more are display. Inside the War Memorial you could spent all day just observing and reading the display.

    On the side of the building there are two large wall of which names of fallen loved one is scribed. For remembrance red poppies are placed by relatives. Not far from the Pool of Reflection is the Domed, inside the Domed is the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier (1914-1918).

    Outside the building there is a statue of Simpson and his Donkey. John Simpson is Australian hero. At Gallipoli with heavy bombardment, Simpson and a donkey carried water up Shrapnel Gulley and bring the wounded soldiers into safer area.

    Along the Anzac Parade there are several memorials representing Australian involvement in War, the Vietnam War memorial is one of them.

    War Memorial probably is not everyone cup of tea. No one in the right mind condone war. To me War Memorial is a learning place to visits. In a nut shell it made me realized that war sucks which no one wins. In my opinion war should not be glorified, it should be put into memory and hopefully it should not happen again.

    Open daily between 10.00am-5.00pm.

    Free admission. Donation box at the entrance.

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