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Australian War Memorial - Canberra

National Shrine


Australian War Mermorial, Canberra

The Australian War Memorial in Canberra

Courtesy Canberra Tourism & Events Corporation

From the Australian Parliament House on Canberra’s Capital Hill, look northeast just beyond Lake Burley Griffin and you’ll see a wide avenue running along your line of vision and ending at a distinctive-looking building with a domed roof at the foot of Mt Ainslie.

The building, a stylised Byzantine structure, is the Australian War Memorial. It is a shrine to those Australians who fought for their country, more than 102,000 dying in various conflicts, many on foreign soil.

Anzac Day commemorations

On Anzac Day particularly, when Australia remembers its sons and daughters who served in world wars, regional conflicts and international peacekeeping, the Australian War Memorial is a focal point for the nation’s Anzac Day rites of honoring its soldiers.

The Anzac Day rites begin with the Dawn Service at 5.30am which lasts half an hour. Immediately after the Dawn Service, the Australian War Memorial Commemorative Area becomes open to the public.

Vigil at the Tomb

A vigil is mounted at the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier with soldiers from the three military -- land, sea and air -- services. Those standing vigil change every 30 minutes, on the hour and the half-hour, the last of them dismounting at 5pm.

The national Anzac Day ceremony usually starts at 10.15am on April 25 and continues until midday. Members of the public are then invited to lay a single flower on the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier as a personal tribute.

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