Here in Melbourne we have the ever so beautiful ‘Shrine of Remembrance’. The Shrine of Remembrance was created and built for the grieving families and communities after the massive loss of lives in the First World War (1914 –18).
Overtime it has become a memorial to all Australians who have served in wars over the past decades and centuries . It is a site for annual celebration, acknowledgement and honouring of ANZAC Day (25 April) and Remembrance Day (11 November) and is one of the largest war memorials in Australia.
DESIGNED BY TWO SOLDIERS
There was a competition for the design of the Shrine of Remembrance, entered by many Australian artists and Architects. Eighty-three designs were submitted and the winning design was by two Melbourne returned-soldier architects, Philip Hudson and James Wardrop.
The central sanctuary contains the Stone of Remembrance, made of marble , upon which is engraved the words “Greater love hath no man”.
ON THE 11th HOUR
Once a year, on the 11th of November at exactly 11 a.m, a ray of sunlight shines in through the roof to light up the word “Love” in the inscription.
There are two openings that the sunlight must enter before it falls upon the Stone of Remembrance; the external opening and the internal opening. The external opening is covered by a metal plate on all days of the year except Remembrance Day.
If the metal plate wasn’t there, sunlight would cross the Stone of Remembrance for up to seven days around the 11th of November.
With the introduction of daylight savings, a hidden mirror has been strategically placed in the wall to reflect the sun’s light onto the Stone of Remembrance so the sun still shines on the stone at 11am instead of 12 noon.
On a final note, I really do hope we are all still honouring and instilling the history of the men and women who bravely fought in wars to protect Australia. To those who returned and those who never came back, to make this country and the way we live what is it today.
I hope we can call stand tall and silent on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month and say our wholehearted thank yous to these soldiers.