Tugu Australia (Remembrance Monument)
Last year (2006) when my Australian parents went for a short holiday with us to Balikpapan, East Borneo in Indonesia, I forgot to take them to Tugu Australia; this is a monument to remember and to respect the Australian troops who fought the Japanese who invaded Indonesia in old days; my late grandfather was among the air force troops who dropped bombs onto the Japanese who occupied Balikpapan. When gramps was still alive, he used to tell me the story of it; sadly he never got the chance to fly to Balikpapan to see the monument himself before he passed away.
Located near Lapangan Merdeka (football and sport field), KPS (Kontraktor Production Sharing; a private school run also by the oil companies from France and USA) and Banua Patra (owned by the national oil company of Indonesia), even until today the monument stands still and well taken cared of. It gives me such a pride in a way or two whenever I go to this monument, but unfortunately today, the relationship between the two countries, Indonesia and Australia are not as strong and as nice as before the year of 1998.
At Tugu Australia, there is a plate where you can read the history of what happened in 1945 during the battle; written in English and Indonesian. You can also see the map of Borneo Island and the estimated numbers of how many troops and civilians died during the war. The plate itself is really interesting to read. There is a cross placed on the monument and green plants are planted surrounding the monument.
Perhaps Tugu Australia is only important for the people (Americans, Australians, Japanese, and Indonesians) who were and are related to the war but it’s still nice to take the time to visit this monument if you are in Balikpapan. [more ]
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