An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Monday, August 15, 2005

VP Day

Courage, Sacrifice, Endurance and Mateship. The four pillars of the Isurava monument, on the Kokoda Track. On the track I could only imagine the first two, experienced some of the last two, and overall came away with a profound appreciation for all four.

Over the last few years my admiration for these testaments has been steadily growing - mostly due to my travels. Seeing a dawn break at ANZAC cove on the 25th of April, walking through the many headstones of fallen from both great wars in France and now here in Lae and retracing their muddy steps on the Kokoda, you can't help but appreciate what was done.

Looking at the ages on the headstones bring it into focus. Most of them died younger than I am now. And for what? Their country?

I could not conceive how I would react if it was me who was called up and sent off to a completely alien environment - winter in Europe, deserts in Northern Africa, jungles of New Guinea - and then told to fight the enemy, and ohh by the way you will probably be killed or your mates will be anyway.

No doubt I would have been like everyone else and viewed it as an adventure. Luckily I have got to see what the reality would have been. A futile waste of life and tormentor of survivor minds for decades to come. I really hope everyone else comes to that conclusion and those days are well and truly past and lessons learnt.

One of the four - a positive and lasting outcome