M'boro memorial is world class: Brendan Nelson
HUNDREDS stood in awe and silence as they listened to the eloquent words of War Museum director Dr Brendan Nelson.
Dr Nelson's emotional speech opened by paying tribute to the Butchulla men who served Australia in World War I and the founder of the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum.
"I add to those who should be recognised, one of the truly great Australians, John Meyer and his wife Else for all of the great work they have done," Dr Nelson, pictured said.
"... To accumulate, conserve, preserve and display our nation's military heritage."
The crowd was captivated by the War Museum director's words when he described the significance of the Gallipoli to Armistice memorial.
"Australians all let us rejoice for we are young and free... We just sang it. We sing it often. Hear it sung often, but less often do we pause to reflect on what that really means," he said.
"It's very tempting, human beings that we are to settle for headlines - broad brush strokes - you hear voices, and there may be voices in relation to this that say 'the money would have been better spent on veterans'.
"This memorial and those like it are also essential for asking us, everyone of us as Australians, 'what does it mean to be an Australian?'
"To remind us every single day that we must strive to be a people worthy of such sacrifices.
"Every nation has its story, this is our story. From Gallipoli to the armistice we emerged with a deeper understanding of what it meant to be an Australian and a greater belief in ourselves.
"Because in the end what is most important, and what this world class memorial does, is reminds us of those things in which we believe - which bind us as Australians, the people who gave us what we have and made us who we are.
"For we are young and we are free."