Remembering the National Heroes at The Shrine of Remembrance

by - Friday, September 11, 2015

"Greater Love Hath No Man"

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These are the words engraved on a marble stone; the Stone of Remembrance in The Sanctuary are just five words but greatly holds the meaning which aptly describes the sacrifices by these men made in honor of the country.

These men, are the national heroes of Australia.

They have laid down their lives for the country for the future of the succeeding generations.

It is truly a love no man could ever have, than to offer their own, for the country close to their heart; a country in which they were born, grew up with and call their motherland, and for the future generations they do not even know, but already cared about and loved.

It is noble and they are not to be forgotten.

This is the place where they remain, always in the memories of all their countrymen, who honor their bravery and could never find another way to say, "Thank you, for doing this, for all of us"

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The Shrine of Remembrance is within the Kings Domain (one of the parks from my earlier post) and is one of the largest war memorials in Australia.

One of the most significant landmarks to the national history of Australia, the Shrine of Remembrance was erected to commemorate all the men and women of the state of Victoria who had served in the World War I and generally all those who had served in war for the country.

It was a symbol, a token of deep gratitude and heartfelt appreciation among the local population of Victoria to thank these brave men and women for their contribution to the country and for their sake, that despite the economic crisis that engulfed the country in the late 1920s and 1930s where unemployment were on the rise, the funds required for the shrine was raised within six months, from its initial appeal in 1928.

Financial burdens did not dampen their spirits to express their feelings for those who had gone to serve the war, and especially those who never managed to come back.

The World War I, which was between 1914-1918 saw a huge continent of 114,000 Victorians; where approximately 89,000 of them served overseas and a total of 19,000 never made it back to see their families and country.


The memorial was originally intended in a Victorian styled architecture, which were opposed and led to a more acceptable concept of the Anzac Square and the cenotaph in 1926.

Completed and officially launched in the year 1934, the design and architecture of the Shrine of Remembrance was largely inspired by one of the seven wonders of the ancient world; the Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus, as designed by local architects Philip Hudson and James Wardrop; both were Melbourne born and returned soldiers who had served in the World War I.
Part of the design was also based on another prominent architecture; the Pantheon in Athens.

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The top of the memorial; the ziggurat roof is loosely based and made in reference to the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates.

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The Stone of Remembrance, in The Sanctuary was originally the only structure intended for the shrine.

The word 'Love' in the inscription of 'Greater Love Hath No Man' lights up every year, in a well-designed and calculated aperture embedded in the roof, which would allow the ray of sunshine to shine through the roof for that purpose.
Once a year, on the 11th of November, which is the designated Remembrance Day for the Australians.

There is also a crypt underneath The Sanctuary; which lies two bronze statues of a father and a son along with the panels marking every of the Australian Imperial Force.
The crypt is located downstairs and is accessible via stairs, along with the Visitor Centre.

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The Sanctuary is also surrounded by an ambulatory; passageways where there are forty two bronze caskets placed with hand-written, Illuminated Books of Remembrance.
These included the names of every citizen of Victoria who had enlisted to serve in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force for the World War I.
The list also included those who had died before embarkation; even if they did not serve in person, they were remembered for that honorable intention they had.

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Everyone who walks into the Shrine of Remembrance, would stand before the Stone of Remembrance, to pay a brief moment of respect for these heroes.
It is the least one could do, in memory of the greatness they had done for everyone, and it is appropriate to be respectful at all times in the building, where silence is observed.


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Outside, the World War II Forecourt where the Cenotaph and the Eternal Flame stands, along with the Remembrance Garden make up part of the landscape of the grounds which is part of the Shrine Reserve.

At the World War II Forecourt, one should take note of the basalt sculpture placed on top of the tall pillar known as the Cenotaph.
The sculpture depicts six servicemen carrying a bier holding a corpse, draped around by the national flag of Australia.
It is a symbol of "the debt of the living to the dead".

There are also the lists of the names of the defense forces inscribed on the Cenotaph itself.


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The Eternal Flame, on the other hand, located near to the Cenotaph, symbolizes eternal life.

It is in a way to say that these brave men and women will always live, in the memories of the Australians.
They will never be forgotten.

The Eternal Flame has truly held to its promise, having burnt continuously until today with minimal disruptions since its first light.


Three flagpoles; with the Australian flag on the left, Victorian flag in the middle and one of the flags of the main three defense forces are flown in strict adherence to the usual arrangement and protocols.
Other flags may be flown occasionally, should there be an arising need of an event according to these rules as well.

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The Remembrance Garden includes a Harcourt granite wall with the engraved names of all the other military operations, conflicts, and battles or peacekeeping efforts Australia has ever participated in over the years, amid the pool and waterfall that stands within the area as well.

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Every country has their own monuments to commemorate their heroes, and though they all seem to bear the same intention, they are all very different and holds strongly and dearly to the respective population.

It is an entirely different sentiment when I visit each and every one of these memorials, built in honor and to remind generations of the freedom and liberty we enjoyed because of their sacrifices.

They may all come from different countries and they do not know each other, but they have one thing in common; COURAGE.


They may be all fighting for their own countries, but in unison, they are actually fighting for every single one of us.


Don't think that the national heroes in Australia had nothing to do with us.


These are all the noble men and women who have put their lives behind, at the interests of others and a better condition for the country and for the future.

If it is not for them, we would not even exist today.

They did not die in vain; they had put their lives out there and also put out the flames of war and suffering for everyone.


We will never forget that, ever.


May they rest in peace, and may the Eternal flame continue to burn as they watch over all of us.


They will continue to live, in our minds and hearts forever, and for generations to come.


SALUTE

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*Entrance is free to The Shrine of Remembrance
Opens daily from 10am-5pm; except on Good Friday and Christmas Day

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Official Website here



*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and preferences and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.





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