As citizens who are living post-World Wars, we always take things for granted. We never knew the atrocity of war as we enjoy freedom as much as we want it. So much so that we rarely remembering the fallen, no matter who they are. Take Labuan War Cemetery as an example.
Situated on the island of Labuan, one of the Federal Territories of Malaysia, this place is hardly visited by anyone. However, come November each year, many war veterans will flock the Labuan War Cemetery to remember their brothers who died while fighting for our freedom.
Labuan War Cemetery – A Sacred Place
Labuan War Cemetery is a cemetery at Jalan Tanjong Batu, not too far from the city centre. Driving to the Labuan War Cemetery, I could straightaway recognized it by its green lawn and white stones. It is situated 3 km to the city of Victoria and not far from the airport.
This is a sacred place, the final resting place for 3,908 fighters who fought in Labuan during the Wars. Those buried here are not just the locals. There are also Indian and Australian troops, buried alongside the British, the New Zealanders and the Punjab Signal Corp.
A Place to Appreciate Peace and Serenity
Coming to such a place, some may just come to see and snap some photos. Some come to visit for its uniformed burial ground, where the Christians, the Indians and the Muslims are separated and buried in accordance to their respective believes.
As for me, when I came and visited the Cemetery, I spent some 30 minutes, pondering upon what war had done to them all. They were separated from their family members, some thousand of kilometres away, fighting on a foreign soil.
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I pondered on the atrocity of wars and what wars had done to them. How they were all now 6-feet under, but not so many people who really appreciate what they had sacrificed. It is the place where I appreciate peace and serenity. A place where I learnt about death and loss.
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