Tuesday, September 25, 2012

26 May 2012: The Anzac Memorial

Taken on 21 May 2012.

ANZAC Memorial, Sydney.

26 May 2012 (Sat): This was the day when I was taking a flight back to Singapore. In my heart, I knew that I would miss my friends, the ferry rides and the fresher air in Sydney.

On my way to collect my luggage from the hotel, Travelodge Sydney, I passed by the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park. I estimated that I had less than half-an-hour to get myself acquainted with the memorial. A wonderful memorial like the ANZAC Memorial deserves more of my time. However, being ignorant as a tourist, I gave it less than half-an-hour. This meant that perhaps sometime in future, should I visit Sydney again, I could set aside more time to visit the ANZAC Memorial.

The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. In 1915, during the first World War, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula with the main objective of capturing Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. During that time in history, Australia and New Zealand were dominions of the British Empire. The Ottoman Empire was an ally of Germany. On 25 Apr 1915, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed at Gallipoli. During the eight-months campaign at Gallipoli, there were heavy casualties.  25 April subsequently became the day which the Australians and New Zealands remember the sacrifice of those who had died in the war. I remember reading in some history books that the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps had fought bravely. The day 25 April became known as ANZAC day.

On the first anniversary of the landing of the Australians at Gallipoli, a fund was opened to raise a permanent memorial to those from New South Wales who served in The Great War (now known was the first World War) from 1914 - 1918. In 1923, there was a suggestion for the memorial to be erected in Hyde Park. The ANZAC Memorial at Hyde Park Sydney was officially opened on 24 Nov 1934.

While I was aware of the significance behind ANZAC day, I was clueless how to appreciate the architecture and design of the ANZAC Memorial. I was simply awed by one of the sculptures that I saw within the compounds of the memorial. There was a solemn sense of dignity and melancholy.

It looked like I would have to visit the ANZAC Memorial again in the future so as to better appreciate the courage and sacrifice of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps better.

Odd it may seems, I had walked past the ANZAC Memorial more than thrice during my visit to Sydney in May 2012, but I had only stepped into it on the last day of my visit. Could this be a sign to tell me that I have to learn to appreciate what is around me at a deeper level?

ANZAC Memorial. Taken on 20 May 2012.


ANZAC Memorial 
Hyde Park Sydney
Tel: +61-2-9264-2039

The Memorial is open every day, except Good Friday and Christmas Day, from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m
Entry is free of charge.

Nearest train station: Museum.

Also visit: Sydney, May 2012: A time to heal and to be inspired

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