All Roads Lead to Rome ….

Or in our case … all roads lead to the Australian War Memorial.

If you have heard this story before and had enough, look away now.

Marg and I, almost from day 1, were determined that our little memorial project would end up at the War Memorial.  It was right.  It was fitting. It was the perfect ending.

The journey has been dotted with the most spectacular opportunities to display our beautiful handcrafted poppies.

But today, as we labelled our last box … I took a little time to reflect on the last five plus years … and the journey we have been on.

From the outset, as you know, and as I say so often, this project, for me has been about my Dad, and for each of you about your own personal journey of remembrance.

And, I have been asked too many times to count “why do you think this project has been so successful”, and I always respond by saying that it has many layers, and it truly does … but in the end it boils down to community,  But now that I am sitting here, having put away the tools of making for just a little while and contemplating packing for the journey to Canberra tomorrow … I wonder if it’s simpler than that.

I wonder, truly, if its just that we want to connect somehow with those brave souls who gave their all in the hope of a better world.

Our brave souls … our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, uncles and aunts, cousins, and more distant relatives … friends.

It is right and fitting that we feel a deep, deep gratitude for their bravery, their sacrifice, their willingness to give their all.

And it is right and fitting, that we use the skills we have to shout it to the world in a glorious, riot of colour that symbolises our hope that they are forever honoured in our hearts and our thoughts.

As we should.


Phillip Johnson’s team is already in Canberra and has commenced the significant groundworks needed to make this field of poppies come alive.  It’s a big job.

Planting starts on Saturday morning.

We launch on 5 October.

You are welcome to come and see for yourself, the results of the work of many thousands of contributors from all around the world … in memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in WWI.

It will be spectacular.

Three days, 14 hours, 57 minutes and 50 seconds ….


About 5000 Poppies

The 5000 Poppies Project is a community tribute of respect and remembrance for our servicemen and women, their families and their communities. Created in 2013 by sisters in law Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight in honour of their fathers service in WWII, the project has been closely aligned with the Centenary of Anzac 2014 to 2018, and has consisted of a number of small and large scale installations made from handcrafted poppies from many thousands of contributors from all over the world.
This entry was posted in 5000 Poppies, Australian War Memorial, Centenary of Armistice 2018, Remembrance Day 2018. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to All Roads Lead to Rome ….

  1. catdownunder says:

    All I can say is “thank you”. Every stitch I put in was for my family, my godfather, the man I was going to marry and so many more. It’s been an extraordinary effort on your part and it has helped so many others as well.

  2. Lyn Johnson says:

    Lyn you have done a great service to this country through undertaking this project in memory of your father. It has given so many people the opportunity to be part of the proud albeit sad history of those who gave not only their lives in WWI but did their duty. As we now know so many came back scared by their experiences but tried to get on with their lives. Your efforts and those of your many helpers, I was privileged to be but a very minute contributor, some grey poppies in memory of the nurses, have done Australia proud. Thank you.

  3. Edilia says:

    Lynn I always enjoy reading your blog posts. They are informative and heartfelt capturing the goodwill and sentiment of those involved. It’s a mammoth task and you handle it all with grace under pressure. I hope you enjoy seeing your vision come to life and it is better than you ever envisaged.

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