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

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

Archive

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