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.


Purchase Owen's Books

Recent Posts


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


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