A very quiet morning in the Kuala Lumpur streets early hours (before peak hour traffic) whilst traveling to the National War Monument for a wreath laying ceremony there. On arrival we were met by two Malaysian officials for the private event prior our visit to the Australian High Commission Malaysia later on.
After the dawn service a Malaysian police escort was standing by to ensure the team were not interrupted and on time to meet the Australian High Commissioner whilst riding through the busy packed streets on route in the nations capital city.
A fantastic welcome by the Australian High Commissioner (AHC) Malaysia; Mr. Rod Smith, Assistant Defence Adviser Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Fomiatti, High Commission staff and members of the Malaysian press after arriving in record time by assistance of the police escort and normal police security blocking off traffic and streets to pave the way for the TLRH riders and support vehicle.
The focus at the Australian High Commission as part of the welcome was on the objectives of the long ride home; PTSD awareness, particularly amongst our Australian War Veterans being one of the main purpose of the long ride. Discussions and feedback on the long ride home itself and PTSD being a world wide disease was of great interest to the Malaysian media attending, and I'm sure it will be subject of the press release tomorrow.
It was also a great honour to meet key Malaysian government officials from the Malaysian Veterans department attending and allowing me the opportunity to discuss and voice the issues of PTSD within their own war veteran community.
On behalf of the long ride home team both here in SE Asia and back in Australia I take this opportunity to thank the Australian High Commissioner, HC staff and Australian Defence Personnel for a great welcome / send off, and for the Malaysian government's kind support, hospitality and ensuring that the long ride home team arrived and left Kuala Lumpur safely.
A special thank you to Pam Cue in coordinating the High Commission welcome/send off for the TLRH team, that being a very hard task with the riders being on the move throughout SE Asia and with limited communications over the last two months. And to Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Fomiatti for his presentation of the Australian Defence Staff Commemorative Coin (Malaysia) to me at such an important event.
As mentioned, an outstanding and important event for TLRH sponsored by our Australian High Commission Malaysia and excellent support from the Malaysian police to ensure our getting to the event at the AHC and to our over night stay here in Port Dickson (on route Singapore) was a safe one.
National Monument Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The National Monument is a sculpture that commemorates those who died in Malaysia's struggle for freedom, principally against the Japanese occupation during World War II and the Malayan Emergency, which lasted from 1948 until 1960. It is located in the Federal capital, Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian Houses of Parliament are situated near the monument.
It is the world's tallest bronze freestanding sculpture grouping. Every year on 31 July on Warriors' Day, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Prime Minister, heads of military, and the police pay their respects to the fallen heroes by laying garlands at the monument.
The predecessor of the National Monument is an interwar-era cenotaph originally erected by the colonial British administration on a 10m flat grass-covered ground on a roundabout adjoining Victory Avenue (now part of Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin) and Raja Road, close to the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and Railway Administration Building. Originally intended to commemorate the Great War (1914–1918) and honour those from the British Malayan colonies who were killed in the war, the cenotaph's inscription would later include fallen British Malayan soldiers of World War II (1939–1945) after the conclusion of World War II and resumption of British rule. Names of the fallen are engraved on the plaques of the cenotaph as a token of tribute to their sacrifices.
In 1964, the cenotaph was moved from its original location to the site of the National Monument in Lake Gardens before a planned flyover connecting Jalan Sultan Hishamuddinand the Parliament roundabout was constructed over the original site. Transfer of the cenotaph was made possible by dismantling the structure into catalogued parts, allowing the structure to be transported in pieces and reassembled in its original form at the National Monument. Following its move, inscriptions were added to include fallen soldiers from the Malayan Emergency (1948–1960) and an archaic Malay translation of "To Our Glorious Dead", "Untok Mengingati Jasa Pahlawan-pahlawan Yang Gugor" ("To Remember the Service of Warriors Who Have Fallen").
Truck and Matt
On the long ride home, Malaysia
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