Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thousands upon thousands

Names of the fallen.

Thinking back to my childhood I now realise that the war years were as close to our parents as my youthful years are to me today. In my mind my recollection of my uni days are close and clear. I have a new appreciation of why the people and memories of the war seemed so present during the childhood of my generation though we ourselves had no proper comprehension of it.

In the classroom debate I supported the continuation of Anzac Day with its mix of remembrance and mateship. I was still young and inexperienced. I didn't understand death, or fear, or freedom, or the adult fixation wiht the communist threat. However, I did understand that this day was important to Mum and Dad amd many other's like them.

I particularly remembered going to the War Memorial in Canberra as a little girl and seeing the thousands and thousands of names mounted on the walls underneath the sandstone arches flanking the pool of remembrance.

5 comments:

  1. I have never walked this corridor, but have seen images many times.

    The passage of time is a wierd thing to try to comprehend. My head sometimes takes me back to my own classic comparison. As a family living in Denman, we used to play tennis on a Sunday evening. I guess I am talking 60-65 here. And that, of course, cut across the Sunday night movie, which was new to me having only just got television. I would moan about missing this film or that film. Over the years I have come to realise that the films that I missed were the classics of th 1930s - making them 30 years old. If I take 30 years away from today, I only get back to 1981. I can go back to the mid-50s and images in my head are still vibrant.

    Time is strange ...

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  2. I've really enjoyed reading these posts.
    I dunno why, but I have a real problem recalling the past - I don't have any traumatic memories and I had a happy childhood and of course, I remember stuff in general, but I don't seem to recall things in detail like my mum and sister can. And you and Julie seem to be able to do that as well.
    When I think of my memories, they tend to be more the feeling or the vibe of the situation.
    Anyway.....
    as I said, I've enjoyed reading these posts, they have brought back memories for me. Even though we were twice removed from the war, and my grandfather died before I was born, the war and ANZAC day had a significant presence in our house.

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  3. Its seeing all those names that really impact.
    It's sad how they just keep on being added to.

    The Anzac Day tradition is an important one to a lot of people whether they actively join in or just quietly remember.

    It was generous of you to share your family's tradition of how Anzac Day was spent Joan, thank you.

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  4. Julie, TV was a huge thing wasn't it. We never had it all the time I lived at home but Mum and Dad hired it for one or two school holidays. We must have had it for the Summer of 65-66 because I still remember the advertising jingle

    "In come the dollars and in come the cents
    to replace the pounds and the shillings and the pence.
    Be prepared folks when the coins begin to mix
    on the 14th of February 1966."

    Letty, the feelings and the vibe are an important part of the memory. This story came out of a life writing course I did with Patti Miller. Her guidance was great to seeing the importance of all those aspects of the memories.

    Susan, there are two more posts before this series is done and ends with the very point you make.

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  5. What a beautiful perspective, but, as always in every memorial, too many names!...

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