As i have traveled about the eastern South Pacific, New Calidonia and Australia in particular, i have been moved by the preponderance of memorials honoring those that served their countries. We just had ANZAC day here which is the New Zealand and Australian version of Memorial Day, a day that is honored nation wide by all generations here.
Most towns have large well kept memorials honoring the local boys who gave their lives defending Australian freedom and Townsville was no exception. I wondered about the memorial that depicted Australian involvement in the wars of hour mutual history. WW1 found many Aussie boys in strange lands and they exhibited historic courage. The last known cavalry charge was by the Australian Light Horse Brigade in WW1, the Aussies were out numbered yet gave charge and found victory.
This memorial, like the others, found me dazed faced wondering around, reading the plaques and imagining the horrors of war. Like the US, Australia has bravely gone to war, sometimes for righteous causes like WW2 and sometimes in folly. The Aussie flag has loyally joined Britain and the US every time they have been asked.
I read the plaques of the local boys honored for extreme bravery and one grabbed me in my tracks, my mind was taken to the jungles of Indonesia in WW2 as the outnumbered Aussies fought the invading Japanese oh so close to the Aussie homeland. the plaque depicts a group of out numbered and battle fatigued boys led by one man, singing Waltzing Matilda as they over came the Japanese invaders. i walked away, tear eyed, singing the famous Australian song… Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda won’t you come Waltzing with me…..