Making the most of the photo opportunities during a trip to the west coast, I took this shot just as I was leaving Kings Park in Perth, last Sunday. It was a scorching hot day with the mercury hovering close to the 100 Fahrenheit mark and after spending about an hour in the sprawling 400-hectare park (that’s about 1000 acres) I was keen to find some shade when I spotted this sight.
Commemorative trees for soldiers have an interesting history here in Australia. About 20 years ago, while driving from Melbourne to Adelaide, we passed through Ballarat and I noticed little plaques beside a long row of trees on each side of the Western Highway.
The next time we did the trip, I measured the distance and was surprised to discover that the Avenue of Honour, as it is called, stretched for more than 20 kilometres. It is by far the longest of its kind in any Australian city or town.
Each tree was planted in honour of a Ballarat citizen who volunteered for active service, with a plaque bearing a cross for each one killed in action. I did a rough calculation based on the estimated distance between each tree and I have to admit that I was astounded by the result.
I estimated about 3500 trees, but I researched this calculation yesterday and found that the official figure is almost 3800 trees.
This solitary tree, on the other side of the country, is living testament to a much-loved son killed in 1918, in the last months of World War I. He was not just a son of the family whose surname he shared, but a son of this nation as well.
Visit TNChick's Photo Hunt. Today's theme: "Aftermath".