Remembrance Day 2009

Today we honour those who served in armed conflict, especially those who gave their lives. I also want to honour their loved ones.

In Perth, Western Australia a few months ago, we saw this fitting and moving tribute. Honour Avenue in Kings Park is lined on both sides by sugar gum (eucalyptus) trees, each with a plaque dedicated to a fallen soldier. I was struck and saddened by how young many of them were. Often it was the mother who had dedicated the plaque; I felt even sadder thinking of each of those mothers, and of their sons who never had a chance to love, have a family or experience all the joys and sorrows of life on this complicated planet.

Here's one plaque--you can see the beautiful eucalyptus bark behind it. Private Norman J. Gaull was 19 years old when he fell on August 1, 1917 in Belgium. The tree was planted by his mother.

The Honour Avenue database provides information on all 1,175 plaques in the park. The most common age was 23. A dedicated person has photographed each of the plaques and uploaded them to this site.

Created 11 November 2009 by Anny Schaefer

Photos by Val Schaefer, modified by Anny Schaefer