Local Heart, Global Soul

September 20, 2019

A Tragic Memorial: Fly Free As A Bird…

Following part of the Maasvlakte dune road (as opposed to the main road running more or less parallel near by) we came across this lookout on top of one of the dunes. We pulled over to find that that wasn’t accessible at the time but right next to it was a large sculpture on the section of dune level with the road. There are already a family group of German tourists with young children there, the children finding the “peek-a-boo” aspect of the statue intriguing. I wanted photos of the sculpture but not of them so had to wait a while until the family moved out of frame. Ergo the pairs of small shoes in the second photograph. Yes, they retrieved them before they left.

It became apparent that this was more than “just” a statue, it was a memorial to four men killed in a 27 June 2010 helicopter crash close by here. Inside were three photographers, an official from the harbour companies and the pilot, of which only one of the photographers survived. They had been doing an aerial survey in preparation for a large cycling event called: “de Tour du Port” (Tour of the Port)  which had been scheduled to take place the evening before the start of the Tour de France. The Port Tour was scrapped in light of the tragedy.  The text commemorates those lost and an accompanying poem talks about flying as free as birds.

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 26, 2018

Remembering Those Who Toiled Below Ground…

The next thing that Himself and I see when going around Greymouth is the memorial made to remember the many miners who have lost their lives since mining began. The miners in the recent Pike River mine disaster are included in these. Mining has been a difficult and dangerous job and the hazards could never be underestimated. It must have been so terrible for families when word reached them that something had gone wrong and the realization set in that their loved ones were not going to be coming home. I find this to be a simple and yet poignant reminder to those who were brave enough to work deep underground at great risk just to earn a living.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 17, 2018

A Place Of Intense Feeling…

The War Memorial in the Square in Christchurch is a wonderful piece of art work. If it were possible for emotion to ooze out of a statue, then this would be an example of it. We can only see it from a distance at the moment, I hope to take photographs that would do it justice at sometime in the future. There is a large fence all around here, the only gap is filled with a wire fence. By zooming in I attempt to blur the wire out of existence. This statue is not just an artwork, for many it’s a place of intense feeling.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 6, 2018

A Mural That Brings Rememberance…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s blog post, I’m standing between Christmas and New Year in the entrance foyer of the Petone Settlers Museum, in Petone, outside Wellington, New Zealand.

After checking out the map, compass points and sailing ship stone decoration set into the stone floor, and bronze globe in the center, I  turned my attention to a beautiful memorial mural on the upper section of the wall.

The text beneath the illustration snakes with the painting around the room and reads:

“They gave their bodies to the Commonwealth, and received, each for his own memory, praise that will never die, and with it the noblest sepulcher, not that in which the mortal bones are laid but a home in the minds of men,”

It’s a sobering reminder that there are countless Kiwi young men who paid the ultimate price for peace and rest eternally in European war graves far from home.

Most of them are of course fell in the trenches of the West Flanders area around Ypres during World War One, and  those who fought and fell in Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire, also during World War I.

Because Australia and New Zealanders fought side by side they got the nickname “ANZAC’s” (short for: “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps”).

Observed on 25 April each year in both New Zealand and Australia, “Anzac Day”  is the national memorial day observed on 25th April each year, usually with a dawn ceremony.

There are of course many other parts of Europe where ANZAC’s are buried and there is almost no town large or small in New Zealand that does not have a war memorial in the center inscribed with the names of those who make the ultimate sacrifice. I photographed first the “overview” of the mural and then zoomed in so that we could enjoy the detail. I am not quite sure how to define this style of painting, to my mind it’s kind of a mix of pointillism and airbrushing… and something else I can’t quite put my finger on. The lack of faces on the figures achieves the objective though, you concentrate on the message rather than on the medium.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/new-post-76/
Gallipoli: a Loss, a Win and a turning point, Never to be forgotten.

September 9, 2015

Land For America: A Gift From The Dutch People…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post, Family Kiwidutch are visiting a place who’s entrance started as a puzzle and then became clear. This is the site of the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial.

We drive in and both Himself and I are keen to take a look around, but the kids say they would rather stay in the car. Wanting to take turns to look around I stay with the children whilst Himself goes off.

After about five minutes Kiwi Daughter says she would like to join look around after all and then Little Mr decided that he didn’t want to miss anything either so we all went to join Himself.

Later when we went to leave, both kids mentioned that they were pleased that they didn’t just stay in the car because they thought this was really worth visiting. I was more than proud of their grown up attitude and that they too are learning to appreciate places like these.

I have always tried to observe our own Remembrance days, somewhere some how I have always valued the sacrifice that people have made for my freedom, maybe it’s coming from a Dutch family where accounts of  family war events  told to me as a kid made a deep impression… who knows, but war memorials and remembrance ceremonies have always been important to me.

Around the corner from the car  park is a long rectangular walled area, at the beginning there are several additional buildings on the right and a partly open, covered structure on the left.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The right hand building houses an office where a bus tour of American visitors are queuing and getting information  from a man busy at a desk looking up names, regiments and their corresponding burial plot locations.

The open building on the left has a series of  large informational maps, and a group of musicians are setting up for some sort of musical event. There is a plaque close by that says:

“The Netherlands American Cemetery is the only American military cemetery in The Netherlands.

8,301 war dead of the United States of America from World War II rest here. Most died late in 1944 and in 1945, in the airborne and ground operations in eastern Holland, during the advances into Germany over the Roer and across the Rhine, and in air operations over these regions.
Additionally, the names of the 1,722 Americans whose remains were never recovered or not identified are inscribed along each side of the Court of Honor. A bronze rosette marks the names of those who were subsequently found. 105 headstones mark the graves of the 106 “unknowns”. The construction and care of this 65.5 acre cemetery and memorial are the responsibility of the American Battle Monuments Commission, an agency of the United States Government. Use of the land was granted, in perpetuity, by the people of the Netherlands.”

The walls are beautiful, peaceful and somber… in the center between the two long side walls is a long reflecting pool headed by a statue and a tall tower… but back to the names on the wall… they are beautiful. May each and every one of them Rest in Peace.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 16, 2014

A Beautiful Way To Remember…

Filed under: ART,BELGIUM,La Roche-en-Ardenne,Statues / Sculpture — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

Close to the river in the small Belgium town of  La Roche-en-Ardenne there is something that you will see in every European town large and small:  a war memorial. Many of these are beautiful statues and this one is no different. Commemorating the towns fallen from the second World War, these names represent the devastating  toll that the loss of members of these little communities sustained. In this photographic post I will let the photographs speak for themselves…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 26, 2012

Paying My Respects to the 28th Maori Battalion.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Directly next to the Tram Station Café in Foxton is a little room that serves as a memorial to New Zealand’s 28th Maori Battalion .

The Battalion has it’s own website that shows many photographs and tells the story of their fighting efforts:

http://www.28maoribattalion.org.nz/.

I followed the interactive map on the site and whilst I knew that the Maori Battalion had seen active service in Italy and Greece, I was unaware that they had also been active in the Middle East and North Africa, in an area that stretched from Syria to Tebaga Gap in Tunisia.

I see at there are many New Zealand War Graves in Italy and found this site to be so moving that one day when we visit Italy I would like to incorporate a visit to at least one of these grave sites to pay my respects.

Having had members of my Dutch family caught up and  involved in the Second World War,  I have an idea of how hard it must be for many families who’s friends and loved ones lie buried in a county far away on the other side of the world.

Even after all these years, actually especially  after all these years, we should show respect for the freedom they gave their lives to give us and show that we have firstly: not forgotten them, and secondly: that we appreciate their efforts.

I live a half day’s drive away from the fields of Flanders, so aim to visit graves there too in the future.

In the meantime I am reminded of everything that the Maori Battalion (and all Kiwi’s in the Armed Services) have done as I read some of the newspaper clippings and gaze at the faces in  the photographs.  I like that all of  this is accessible to the public ad very much enjoy my time looking around.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 11, 2012

Remembering Opunake… a Fitting Memorial.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m still  not finished with murals in Opunake… they are almost literally around every corner.

Not surprisingly the Opunake War Memorial is not just a physical memorial but also depicted in a mural, consisting of three main parts:  from left to right, first  there is a tall masted sailing ship and a depiction of what I think are the very first local Maori and Pakeha (white settler) settlements, then secondly, past the beach is a Maori war canoe, native bush with the war memorial itself and Mount Taranaki  looms in the background.

The third section of the mural optically bends the view, morphing it into a turn of the century street view with local landmark buildings of the main street and a horse and rider making their way down the street.

Once again… cool! I’m loving the community spirit of this place, and this is reinforced by the sign that thanks local for shopping locally and supporting local businesses (as I believe we all should, where ever possible).

Mount Taranaki sits in the background not only in the graphic on the walls but also physically… yet another beautiful landmark in this town full of charm.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 16, 2012

They Deserve No Less…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following on from yesterday’s post we are still in the small New Zealand town of  Paeroa, famous as the place where the Kiwi iconic  drink  “Lemon and  Paeroa ”  originated.

As we travel though town I suddenly see a war memorial and luckily there’s a car park close by so I can get some photos out of the passenger window (yes it’s still raining like someone pulled the plug out of a heavenly bath) .

I have a fondness for small town war memorials,  and this one is certainly very different to most I have seen…  The first difference that I can see is that in this spot at least there is a flag pole but no obvious name board honouring the local fighting men and women, but there is a plaque dedicated to all who fell in the service of their country.

The second unusual aspect is the inclusion of actual military equipment, one each side of the flagpole.  The smaller of the two is at a guess, an anti-aircraft machine gun and the second is either a gun or small cannon (which is about as technical as I can possibly get on the subject of military equipment).

The third unusual aspect is the inclusion of a background mural…  I’ve never seen a mural at a war memorial before and it’s even more unusual because not only does it depict people who served their country but astonishingly, seemingly also actual battles as well.

It’s certainly not a a shy and retiring war memorial that people could absently walk by,  it catches your eye and hold your attention. I dare say that if it hadn’t been raining bathtubs, Little Mr. would have been more than delighted to take a closer look at the weaponry on offer (we don’t have play guns in our home but he’s still a typical boy who likes to pretend to be an action hero).

Ok, so this isn’t your “conventional” war memorial, but you know, I love the effort that’s been put in here… clearly it commands attention and respect and if it can stop a random passer-by like me in their tracks  (yeah, I know I’m probably a bit weirder in that I’m vastly more prone than most for noticing quirky things) but the point is, you really see this… right in the main street it gets your attention, turns your head and makes you think.

But for people who served and  paid the ultimate sacrifice … they deserve no less.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 9, 2011

Beautiful Church and Moving Memorial…

Filed under: GERMANY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

O.K…. it’s late afternoon in a Northern European March, the sun coming from some angles wasn’t making for brilliant photos.. but this Church was beautiful in real life details…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

..and this is the war memorial to the Unknown Soldier… I found it really quite moving, and went and held it’s hand…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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