We were visiting The Centenary of ANZAC Memorial Walk at Tennant Memorial Drive Emu Park the other day. Not only it was the most impressive regional memorial of its kind in Australia but it also has received national and global recognition for its simplicity, beauty and likeness to ANZAC cove. It was the winner of the 2019 Best Monument or Memorial (Australian Street Art Awards).
The gallery area of The Centenary of ANZAC Memorial Walk contains interpretive works telling the stories of how the war began, the story of Gallipoli, the legend of ANZAC, the details of the Gallipoli campaign, the Somme, Fromelle, the Lone Pine battle and many other campaigns, I stumbled on beautiful artworks on the floor. It was beautiful poppy flowers.
I realise that on the eleventh day of the eleventh month at 11am, the nation stops for one minute of silence to commemorate when the armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany that brought the end of WW1. Wearing a poppy on this day has become a popular tribute tradition that was originally inspired by the fields of poppies that grew where many of the battles were fought.
I only know that people wear a red poppy for this event. But I saw a purple poppy on the floor as part of the artwork. I never know about the purple poppy and wondered about its significance to the war. Do you know the meaning behind purple poppy?
As I read the signage on the wall, it revealed more information about this artwork, including the purple poppy. Actually, there has been a rise of different coloured poppies including white, black, and purple. Each of the four different coloured choices represents a different charity/cause within the sub-genre of paying respects.
The RED poppy: The red poppy is the most famous symbol used to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives in World War I and the wars that followed. Most people usually wear the red poppy. The red poppy represents remembrance and hope and is connected to the Royal British Legion – a charity created by veterans of World War One.
The PURPLE poppy: The purple poppy also known as the "Animal poppy" is a memorial tribute remembering the service and sacrifices of all animals, great and small, that subsequently lost their lives in service, as well as honouring and recognising animals within the armed forces who bravely serve and work the frontline today. As you know, animals still continue to play a vital and significant role in supporting and helping returning soldiers.
The WHITE poppy: The white poppy pays tribute to those who died in conflict but emphasises an ultimate commitment to achieving peace and challenging the way we look at war. The white poppy is the hallmark of the Peace Pledge Union.
The BLACK poppy: It is most commonly associated with the commemoration of black, African and Caribbean communities for their contribution to the war effort as servicemen and servicewomen, and as civilians.
In additional information, the blood splattered on the floor as part of the artwork were represent soldiers' blood (mostly young soldiers) which soaked into the soil bearing the poppy. While the crosses remind us of the locations of the many bodies that remain unknown and unmarked on the field.
What a beautiful artwork, full of thought, to remind us always and pay tribute to our servicemen, servicewomen and animals.