Australian War Memorial Canberra
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A visit to the Australian War Memorial is more than just going to look at displays from the Great World Wars.
It is about remembering the sacrifice, the mateship and the hardships endured from all sides involved in the bloody battles in far away places.
The Australian War Memorial is the Nations gift to the families of the fallen, giving thanks to those who served in their countries service and the opportunity to ensure those who perished will never be forgotten.
Perched on the crest of a hill, overlooking Lake Burley Griffin and directly facing the Australian Parliament House, the Australian War Memorial stands as a sober reminder that the price of democracy is sometimes harsh and cruel.
Many thousands of young men and women have served in our defense forces and due to their bravery and dedication, have ensured that Australians have enjoyed freedom and prosperity.
Unfortunately, at times Australians have been called into conflicts that have claimed many of those brave men and women's lives. The National War Memorial is a shrine to their courage and commitment and a place for all Australians, and visitors to Australia, to pay their respects to those who never returned.
The War Memorial is a sobering look at the miseries that men and women go through in pursuit of something that they believe in.
In particular, the great Hall of Memory, which holds the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is an awe inspiring, yet somber reminder that war is harsh and cruel. It is here that many people quietly observe the beauty of the hall and remember the legacy that those who fought and died gave to us all. They will never be forgotten.
In the Commemorative Courtyard, the Pool of Reflection holds the Eternal Flame. At each side of the courtyard, in the mezzanine level, is the Roll of Honour which records the names of over 102,000 Australian servicemen and women who have died in wars since the late nineteenth century.
Inside, the War Memorial galleries are the place to witness what living was like for those who bravely fought, in sometimes atrocious conditions. The galleries are a museum of memorabilia, actual photographs and equipment used in both World Wars.
There are replica displays of the great battles which are now entwined in our nations history, plus aircraft, boats and even an enemy submarine that was sunk in Sydney Harbour, for all to wonder at and ponder on, the vagaries of war.
War is not pretty, yet there is a quiet swelling of pride while viewing the many galleries that behold the bravery of those who fought for Australia's freedom. The Australian War Memorial is an attraction that nobody should miss when visiting Canberra.
Australian War Memorial is located at the top of Anzac Avenue, a broad road that directly faces the old and new Parliament Houses. Admission is free.
Visiting hours for the galleries are between 10 am–5 pm daily. Closed on Christmas Day.
Free parking is available behind the Memorial and there are cafe's at the premises. Buses run from the Canberra City Centre to the Australian War Memorial regularly.
Plan to spend at least 2 hours at the War Memorial. To fully see and
appreciate all galleries would take longer than one full day.