Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel

LABOR WELCOMES NEW SCULPTURE TO RECOGNISE THE SUFFERINGS OF WAR AND SERVICE

June 17, 2021

Labor welcomes the announcement that a new work of art will be commissioned at the Australian War Memorial to recognise and commemorate the suffering caused by war and military service.

The For every drop shed in anguish sculpture by artist Alex Seton will provide a space in the Memorial’s Sculpture Garden for visitors to grieve, to reflect on service experiences, and to remember the long-term cost of war and service.

The launch of the new installation yesterday follows a three-year campaign by veterans, their families and ex-service organisations.

The driving force behind The Sufferings of War and Service project has been Karen Bird, whose veteran son Jesse Bird tragically took his own life in 2017, and Mr Bird’s former partner Connie Boglis, who recently established the Labor for Veterans and Families Action Committee.

The sculpture will serve as a reminder that war can have long-term and intergenerational costs, which often followed veterans home and was experienced by their loved ones.  

Subject to final approval by the National Capital Authority, the installation is expected to be completed in the second half of 2023.

More information on this project is available on the Sufferings of War and Service webpage: https://www.awm.gov.au/about/our-work/projects/sufferings-of-war-and-service

Labor welcomed the Morrison Government’s announcement in April of a Royal Commission into defence and veteran suicide, and we had called for this since 2019.

Recognising returned soldiers who have lost the war within due to mental wounds inflicted years after their service has, until recently, been something of a taboo.

We hope initiatives like the Royal Commission and The Sufferings of War and Service will help to break down the stigma of defence and veteran suicides, and ensure that the voices of all veterans and their families are heard.

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