As listed in my list of events, I went to attend the Sandakan War Memorial Service at the Sandakan War Memorial Park last Sunday. Having missed it last year due to oversleep, I learnt my lesson this time by making my way out of the neighborhood just when the dawn was breaking.
There was a registration counter at the entrance but I was lucky to have been spared of the hassle because only foreigners were required to register.
Ohh, and they actually gave each visitor a batch to be put on your shirt during the ceremony. Sandakan Municipal Board is so stingy they actually asked them to be returned after the ceremony. With so many police officers around, there was no chance for anybody to take it away without getting arrested.
Memorial Services for them are actually held every year in major cities of Australia on a day they call The Anzac Day but there is nothing like holding it right at the exact location of the captivity.
Taking the risk of being shooed away by the heavily armed security personnel, I actually went against the rule announced by the emcee earlier that all the attendees are required to stick their asses to their seats when the ceremony is proceeding.
It’s like a simple math of counting but in the mean time waking up every day to question whether you’ll live long enough to finish the count. Any time, any day, it could be your turn. The escape made them survive but the nightmare keep haunting them up until today.
It tells how the people of Sabah are actually originally from Australia and that Sabah should have joined Australia and not Malaysia.
Back off ISA! Do not arrest arrest me! Hehe. OK, this book by Australian historian Lynette Silver actually details the true grit, valour and sacrifices of the heroes who helped the Allied Forces during the Japanese Occupation in Sabah. This book also serve as a note to the people of Sabah who played a major part during the World War II.
It was quite a feast actually. Lots of foods and well-dressed and uniformed people, I felt like I was being at a royal garden party or something.
Being in the fasting period for the Muslims, the food was left to be plentiful for those who were not fasting. The food was quite good, fulfilling and most importantly FREE. Who doesn't like free food? You? Kiss my ass. LOLz
Oh well, as much as I wanted to feed my stomach with as much food as possible, I actually surprised myself by picking up nothing but this.
No no. Not that word. What I mean is FOOD. And it means something more than just feeding the stomach.
Here, WE EAT FOR CHARITY. You eat and you already did a charity. Cool huh?
But of course, that is another story. :=)