What is the Australian War Memorial?

The birth of nations is seldom done without a significant sacrifice often paid in blood. Remembering the courageous sons of the country who laid their lives to defend the freedom and the helpless is a duty of every single citizen in every country in the world. Australia is one of the countries who value its fallen heroes above all else. 

This kind of sentiment brought about the building of the Australian War Memorial center which opened its doors to the public in 1941. The purpose of the Memorial is to commemorate the sacrifice of Australians who have died in war or on operational service. The mission of the center is to show the public what the wartime experience was like for the ones who died in trenches and combat assignments across the globe.

This article will tell you more about the Australian War Memorial, its exhibitions and collections.

About the War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial was built in 1941 in Canberra, the capital of Australia. It was conceived as a military museum dedicated to the Australian soldiers from World War I. It later transcended its initial use to incorporate all subsequent war conflicts that Australia and Commonwealth participated in and that shaped Australia of today. 

The War Memorial consists of three parts: the Commemorative Area which functions as a shrine and includes the Hall of Memory with the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier added in 1993, on the 75th anniversary of World War I, the Memorial’s galleries that operate as a museum and Research Center that is the custodian of wartime records.

A lot of people also include the Anzac Parade in the War Memorial as it is a significant street that leads to the War Memorial and that serves as the gathering point for parades and significant events in Canberra. 

The museum is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM, except on Christmas Day, when the Memorial remains closed. 

The Collections 

There are more than half a million artifacts that constitute the exhibitions and collections at the Australian War Memorial. The collections are divided into various categories, so you can see the war technology and witness its development from the colonial period to present times. Also, there are thousands of heraldic items, medals, and plaques awarded to the bravest soldiers, like Victoria’s Crosses, and others.

In addition, photographs, paintings, sculptures, and other works of art made by the soldiers have also found their way to the shelves of the War Memorial Museum and stand testament that even from the darkest days, light can emerge. Furthermore, you shouldn’t miss the Hall of Valour situated at the center of the Memorial building that honors one hundred Australians who have received the Victoria Cross, and 9 Defence personnel bearing the George Cross. 

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