Understanding the legacy

No. 9 Squadron helicopters coming in to pick up forward patrol, Phuoc Tuy Province, Vietnam by Ken McFadyen

No. 9 Squadron helicopters coming in to pick up forward patrol, Phuoc Tuy Province, Vietnam by Ken McFadyen

By Helen Tong and Elise Brocklehurst, Year 11 students

A few weeks ago, our Year 11 literature class went on an eye-opening excursion to the Australian War Memorial.

This iconic tribute was created with the words of Australian historian Charles Bean in mind: ?here is their spirit, in the heart of the land they loved [Australia]; and here we guard the record which they themselves made?.

War is something we have been exploring since Junior School, but it?s not until you see for yourself the history that these brave men and women created for themselves that the truths of their hardships, and the importance of keeping their legacy, is realised. With this new understanding, we found the inspiration we needed to write insightful narratives exploring the different perspectives of war.

There can be no such thing as a ?highlight? from our excursion, because of both the nature of the memorial and the individual importance of each and every exhibition. However, the helicopter in the Vietnam War exhibition was definitely one of the more fun and engaging displays. It let us experience firsthand the power ? and the physical and mental dangers ? of being at the controls of such a formidable machine.

Overall, the excursion to the Australian War Memorial was not just important in letting us find inspiration for our creative responses, but it was also an experience that let us truly understand the ultimate sacrifices that so many Australians made before us? all so that today, we ? the people who remain ? can enjoy a peaceful society, free from the horrors they faced.

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