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Australian War Memorial for Eddy

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Published on Nov 15, 2008

I was recently in Canberra, Australia's capital city around the time of Eddy Bergman's birthday. I know Eddy is keenly interested in military history, so I decided to take a detour to the Australian War Memorial for him.

I normally restrict videos made for one person, but seeing as how 12 of my last 20 videos are Private, I thought it was about time I set one to Public. I'm aware that the video won't appeal to everyone.


NOTES ON THE VIDEO:

Australia has been involved in wars since before it even became a country in its own right. We have been in practically every significant conflict of the last century and even now the Australian Defence Force is involved in two major and three minor international deployments.

Most Australians have a profound respect for people who have served their country, but we find war to be an infinitely sad folly and while commemoration of past conflict is now taking on an almost religious quality, war is not something regarded as glorious. Although we recognise the right of people who have suffered to have their own opinions, as a nation we do not hold grudges.

The War Memorial (and therefore this video) focuses heavily on World Wars I & II but has recently expanded its exhibition space and has significant collections from both the Colonial Era and Post 1945 conflicts. The lighting inside the exhibition halls is kept low for effect and to protect the exhibits, but it makes it hard to film in there.

The main song used is about the Vietnam War because even though the video covers many conflicts, I still find this song incredibly moving. The music used right at the end is the last verse of a song about returned soldiers from World War I and the annual memorial parade remembering the Australian and Allied defeat by the Turks in the Gallipoli campaign of 1915 and all other conflicts. It is a testament to the Australian sentiment towards warfare that our national memorial day is about a futile campaign ending in defeat rather than a great victory.

PERSONAL NOTES:

1:50 shows a Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk 'Polly' which was the personal aircraft of a family friend.

3:47 shows a UH-1 Iroquois helicopter and the associated display is of an incident involving the unit that my girlfriend's father belonged to.

3:58 shows a model of a Lockheed C-130A Hercules (bottom aircraft). The individual aircraft depicted by the model was flown by my father.

I'd like to end with a quote from Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who led the Ottoman Army against the Allies at Gallipoli and later went on to found the modern Turkish nation.

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives - you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears. Your sons are now living in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

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