Lest we forget.
Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.
Australia along with an array of western alliances as part of the British Commonwealth has fought for democracy, justice and freedom for over two hundred years. No Australian should forget the First World War campaign on the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula, the digger, and the atrocious loss of life at such battles as the Somme in France. During the battle of the Somme nearly sixty thousand British casualties alone were suffered in the first twenty four hours and the loss of one point two million casualties all up by the end of the Somme campaign, of which over three hundred and fifty thousand were British and twenty three thousand were Australian. This was just one battle.
You would think that the governments of western democracy would make sure such things did not reoccur, but in 1939 after a tyrannical rise to power Nazi Germany lead by charismatic madman Adolf Hitler plunged the world into further conflict. Although the signs of tyranny were obvious the lessons of the past seem to have been forgotten. Again Australian and western allies lost millions of their men and women; rural towns of Australia paid a devastating price that should never be forgotten.
As you approach the town of Parkes in New South Wales an obvious monument catches your eye, towering above the towns skyline on Anzac Hill is the war memorial, built to commemorate those whom have fallen to give us our current freedom and way of life.
On a recent visit to Parkes, with Anzac day approching, the first place I visited was this magnificent monument to those whom had fallen, lest we forget. The monument was a hive of activity with local seniors and police giving their own time to prepare for commemoration on Anzac day. I and a friend talked with the toiling residents and were given the privilege of climbing to the head of the monument and taking in the view, the town for which they fought has blossomed and their efforts have not been in vain.
However finding out some facts about the monument were rather concerning, the vertical tower built of formed concrete, embossed with dates and campaign reflection is in need of maintenance.
The Department of Veteran Affairs have funded the restoration of the wooden ladder system to more modern steel inside the tower, giving access to the head of the tower, but further funding is required for scaffolding so volunteers within the community can restore the outside surfaces of the iconic structure showing signs of time.
This is an embodiment of respect to those who fell in battle from the town of Parkes, we can only ask this resting place of the Anzac spirit and endeavour will be restored to its former glory with further funding currently being applied for in time for next years Anzac commemoration.
When approching Parkes from any direction it is obvious how important this monument is to the community. This day on the calendar must never be lost. Lest we forget.
Along with every city, town, village, and settlement no matter what the population level in Australia. AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN, AND IN THE MORNING, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
You can’t help getting older but you don’t have to get old.
Lest we forget.
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