Media Release – Australian War Memorial
Wednesday 30 May, 2018
POP A POPPY ON YOUR CAR
Commemorative car poppy campaign to raise awareness of 100-year anniversary of end of the First World War.
November 2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War. On the 11th day of the 11th month, after four years of fighting, one of the world’s most devastating conflicts was finally over, and Australia mourned 62,000 dead. The ‘Great War’ deeply scarred our young nation and changed us.
The vibrant red poppy has long been a powerful symbol of remembrance, and was among the first plants to spring up from the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium.
As a simple act of remembrance, the Australian War Memorial is urging Australians to put a commemorative poppy on their cars to help mark the centenary of the Armistice. Proceeds will support Legacy Australia and the Memorial.
Memorial Director Dr Brendan Nelson said the poppy has been embraced as a symbol recognising all who have served, suffered – and died in wars and on peacekeeping operations. He urged motorists to get behind the campaign.
“All of us are beneficiaries of everything that the Australian War Memorial represents. Putting a poppy on your car is a very simple way of saying, ‘I care and I remember.’ It marks you as a person who wants to say, ‘I am grateful for the men and women of our defence forces, whose sacrifices have given us the freedoms that we enjoy today.’
“If you haven’t got a car you can always put it on your letter box. You can put it anywhere – just put a poppy on something that’s important to you and show your respect for our servicemen and servicewomen,” he said.
This campaign comes ahead of a range of initiatives related to the Memorial’s five-week commemorative program to mark the Armistice anniversary in October and November.
Other programs include the installation of 62,000 knitted poppies on the grounds of the Memorial, image projections, a special exhibition, musical performances, and the projection of a beam of light from the Memorial to Parliament House.
“I urge all Australians – whether by birth or by choice – to engage in the activities of the centenary of the Armistice that ended the First World War. It will be a truly global event. The commemorative car poppy is just one way people can be involved and show their gratitude for those who fought and died.”
Commemorative car poppies are now available from the Memorial shop and online for $9.99. Proceeds from the sales will help support Legacy and the Memorial.
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