Names on a Wall.

Owen Zupp - Friday, December 09, 2011

The Australian War Memorial is both a remarkable and sacred place. Within its walls are not only the artefacts, but the voices and tales of those who have gone before. The smallest item may be of tremendous significance, while the impressive Lancaster bomber cannot help but invoke a sense of awe within the appropriately darkened hall.

 

Yet for all of the amazing relics that are housed within its walls, the surface of some of the outer walls is what can take the breath away. For these walls are home to the names of the fallen. Column after column of name after name rise up from their bronze base, with red poppies adding colour to the solemnity. For every small name represents a life; a son, a brother, a father. A cricket captain, a nervous public speaker, or the lad with that rusty old bike who broke Mrs. Gilby’s window. Every name is so much more than a soldier, sailor or airman, although that final task is what has defined them on these walls.

 

To me the names have changed over the years. As a small boy they were a massive list and while significant, kept me from looking at tanks and aeroplanes. As I grew older, I would walk by my father’s side while he scanned the columns looking for his units of wars seemingly long past, although as a man I now realise how relative time can be. He would occasionally point and say a name out aloud; Les, Ian, Bruce or ‘Bluey’. He might recall a few words to my mother about being ambushed or ‘clobbered’ by ground fire, but little more. He would then walk along and look for family whose names are etched upon the walls and like his friends, never came home.

 

Those same names mean even more to me today. For they are no longer a mysterious reference tied loosely to an event he may have discussed at another time. Now I know who these people are and how they entered my father’s world. How he trained, shared a tent and fought alongside these men. And on occasions how he had watched them die. To me there names have bridged the gap from memorial to a living, breathing soul and I now look upon their raised names while my children place their own red poppies. They stand beside me and listen as I explain as best I can who these people were and why their sacrifice is so important to remember. They are no longer just names; they are Grandad’s friends and family.

 

ANZAC Day was revered in my home growing up. The Dawn Service held a special significance, while around the house faded photographs would appear each year, of young men in uniform with names I still remember. Today their names, like so many others, grace the walls of the Memorial. Fortunately, I now know the stories too, from their farms to the foreign fields in which they now lie. These sons, brothers and fathers must be remembered for the life they forfeited for our tomorrows. They are so much more than names on a wall, they are our heritage.

The years shall not weary them.

Lest We Forget.

Books

Purchase Owen's Books

Recent Posts

Tags

podcast airbus aircraft accident Battle of Britain jabiru Without Precedent aviator airlines Boeing aviation book RAF MH370 Solo Flight Australia. aviaton author Pilatus PC-21 airliner missing pilot training 50 More Tales of Flight Vietnam War terrorism flying training airshow R-DX 787 737 airplane UAV most popular aviation blog 9/11 Airbus A320 aeroplane blog popular aviation blog speaking the pilot's blog best aviation blog aviation Bush Pilot US Air Medal learning to fly plane crash aviation author owen zupp author aviation story 50 tales of flight speaker solo flight australia Sully the Movie writer Hurricane Down to Earth RAAF PC-21 pilot jobs buying an aeroplane Ansett Malaysia Airlines Sully airline pilot careers Jabiru Aircraft flight school owen zupp flight training 77 Squadron September 11th how to land an airplane how to become an author QANTAS Airbus A380 planes turning forty choosing a flying school solo flight ANZAC landing an airplane RAAF Around Australia flight QANTAS A380 Kim Jong-un P-51 Mustang flying school safer flying how to land an aeroplane Airbus A380 solo flight. australia P2902 pilot blog The Practical Pilot careers in aviation aviation journalist buying an airplane airbus A350 XWB aviation best seller flying blog flight aviation writer pilot suicide comfort zone QANTAS Amazon Kindle Daily Deal WW1 flying instructor WW2 airliner Air France 447 student pilot aviation speaker author Australian Aviation magazine Australian Army aircraft Queenstown Phillip Zupp aerospace writer's block www.owenzupp.com aeroplane cost of flying Air Medal aviation jobs Korean War aviation careers warbird The Pilots Blog pilot September 11 Pearl Harbor anzac day flying australian aviation learn to fly Dunkirk aviation blog

Archive

© Owen Zupp. All rights Reserved.                                             Admin . Privacy . Disclaimer                                            Website by Shot to Pieces . Powered by Blackroom