Local Heart, Global Soul

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)

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 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 28, 2012

Waka, So Much More than a Canoe…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In this part of Kiwidutch’s retrospective journal documenting her New Zealand adventures of December 2011 – January 2012,  we are at Waitangi, one of the most important places in New Zealand’s history.

The first thing I want to take a good look at is “Ngatokimatawhaorua” which is the name  given to this particular  huge  “waka taua” or war canoe.  (“waka” means canoe)

This particular waka is the longest of it’s type and was refurbished  for the 70th Anniversary of the Treaty Of Waitangi  in 2010 (the treaty itself was actually signed 100 years before that, but the commemoration of the day as a national event has only been taking place for the last 70 years or so)

The waka is made from the wood of the New Zealand Kauri tree using traditional building methods and can seat more than 80 paddlers.

It’s an amazing feat of design and apparently one of these boats in the hands of experienced paddlers can make 150- 200 kilometres a day in open sea.

It’s huge, it’s beautiful and it’s majestic. Let’s take a look…

(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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