“They died for all free men” says the first wall inside Kranji War Memorial. As part of our Grade 5 Unit of Study, Conflict and Peace, our class went to the Kranji War Memorial. We saw graves of people and soldiers who were honoured for laying down their lives during war.
When you walk into Kranji you can see graves and tombstones for a long, long way. You hear the chirps of birds and the rustling of wind through the trees. The feeling is of peace but the place is about conflict. It is weird to think of it as a place made and created by conflict and the result of it, because the place is so peaceful. That morning the sun was partly hidden and the clouds were big. The only sound was nature and only sight were graves. The smell of freshly mowed grass filled my nostrils.
The Kranji war memorial has about 2000 graves. About 22,000 names are also inscribed on the walls for the soldiers whose bodies were never found. There are people from the UK, Australia, Canada, Sri Lanka, India, Malaya, the Netherlands and New Zealand. These are all people who died while defending Singapore from the Japanese invasion. There are about 500 graves which say: 'A soldier from the 1939 - 1945 war is honoured here'.
I could see all my friends looking for their last names while I was looking for mine - on the walls, graves and in the cemetery register. I found both of my parents surnames in the cemetery register. I wrote a poem while I was there.
Kranji War Memorial
Kranji was a military base before so many people died,
It had planes and tanks and other things that flied,
Now, so many people lie unmoving and still,
Impacted by what still haunts their kin.
No wonder it's so sad,
That people were so bad.
That they killed the soldiers without mercy,
Then creating a controversy.
Kranji is a place where soldiers lie,
Who fought for pride but died.
I think Kranji is a place where one should think of and remember how many people died fighting for their country and what they believed in. The soldiers and people who lost their lives serving their country ranged from water carriers, labourers and privates to people who were only 16, 18 and 21 years old.
War is interesting to learn about but not to be in. I really liked having this field trip because conflict is something that happens everyday, and when you actually get to see what a such a big conflict results in, you want to make peace win over conflict. Every effort is worth peace.