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The following is the transcript of the speech given by The Ambassador of Australia to Denmark, Ms Sharyn Minahan at the unveiling of the new bronze plaques:

Distinguished Guests, and Relatives of the Crew of EE138.

Knowing that the previous speakers will have reviewed for us the circumstances leading to the events that we are commemorating  today, and knowing that they would have recalled the human values that we are honouring today. I am not going to make a speech - but I did want to say just a few words, because it is a very distinct honour to be a part of these proceedings, and as Wing Commander Ibbotson said, it always brings a lump to one's throat to be involved in events such as this in which we remember the young men and sometimes women who sacrificed their lives so far from home.

I feel this all the more when we are commemorating the loss of young airmen, because my own father was a Spitfire pilot in the Second World War. The young men who lost their lives on this spot did so in the pursuit of a cause that still unfortunately keeps our armed forces engaged in various parts of the world, the cause of allowing people to live under regimes that they freely choose that allow their citizens to develop to their full potential regardless of race, gender religion or other distinguishing features and do not threaten that freedom in other countries. The cause is noble, but we would all prefer that these young men did not have their lives truncated so abruptly.. …… ..

But before unveiling the plaque let me just reiterate the acknowledgements of previous speakers - for the efforts of the local community and in particular the family of Ingemann Halkjær in maintaining the site as a memorial to the crew of EE138. I trust the gratitude of the Danish people as shown by the tending of the grave is some comfort to the families who lost loved ones here. I also wish to acknowledge the significant efforts of the relatives of the crew for all their work in bringing this memorial to fruition.




Click the images above and below to read the plaque text.


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