Friday 8 August 2008

Almost a memorial once

It's strange where life takes you. Back when I was a chocko grunt, some sculptor friends of my parents were putting in a proposal to do the Australian Army National Memorial.

the central focus of the memorial is two bronze figures representing Australian soldiers facing east towards the rising sun. The figures stand on a raised podium paved in a radial pattern, which refers to the Army insignia.

Seven cylindrical pillars recall the seven major conflicts in which the Australian Army has been involved in the twentieth century. The pillars stand in water, reminding the visitor of the long sea journeys involved in all Australian campaigns.

They asked me in passing if I could pose for them, since I was the only "digger" that they knew. As it turns out, I never did. Don't know why - it was a long time ago now. Probably too lazy to get out of bed (I was a student after all). And it's not like I'd served in any conflicts, or even been overseas on a peacekeeping mission or anything like that.

But if I had posed, these figures would not be wearing slouch hats. They'd have been wearing a giggle hat, and their sleeves would have been rolled down, not up.

I've been to the memorial. I could go on and on about it, but I won't. It's a memorial, not an exact depiction of reality. I like it. I wouldn't change it, nit-picker that I am.

I just wish I'd made the effort to pose for the statues. That would be a cool thing to say to the kids every time we visit Canberra - "Let's see the memorial to Dad".

There's a lesson there for the kids - don't be so bloody lazy. Get out of bed and get cast in bronze.

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