Friday, March 28, 2008

Australian War Museum

We just returned from an exciting whirlwind tour of Canberra, Australia’s exquisitely designed capital. I’m no city girl, but this is one city that captured my imagination! A highlight of our visit was the Australian War Memorial, which commemorates the sacrifice of Australians who have died in war and helps us remember and understand the enduring impact of war on our lives.

I especially enjoyed the Special Exhibit Gallery which recounts—through artifacts, photographs, maps, and letters—the story of the legendary T.E. Lawrence. My high school history teacher introduced me to Lawrence when he gave me an old, broken-in copy of Seven Pillars of Wisdom; this is the same teacher who ignited my passion for exploring life’s big questions and eventually my commitment to teaching the humanities. Imagine my surprise and delight when I stumbled across a copy of the extremely rare 1926 subscriber’s edition of Lawrence’s book!

I am left pondering the following quote; to me, it captures the spirit of Rotary:

Peacekeepers may not solve problems, but that is not to say that they do not improve lives. Peace is an allusive goal constructed out of many small things. Peter Londey, Other People’s Wars (2004)

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