November 14, 2008

Dublin, Ireland: Garden of Remembrance

We took the DART back to Dublin from Powerscourt Gardens. If anyone ever visits there, I highly recommend taking the DART out that way (and then you'll need a cab or you can take a bus) to visit the estate; the DART ride is nice as are the gardens...and they are way better than the tour company that ripped us off.

The Garden of Remembrance is a memorial to those who fought and gave their lives in the 1916 Easter Rising. The memorial pool is in the shape of a cross and is surrounded by a stone walkway complete with flower boxes and benches.

The bottom of the pool is a mosaic of rippling waves and different offensive and defensive arms. It was a Celtic custom that weapons were broken and thrown into the river at the conclusion of a battle. This act signified the end of hostilities.

At the far end of the memorial is this statue:

It is the "Children of Lir" by Oisín Kelly, and it symbolizes rebirth and resurrection.

In 1976 a contest was held to find a poem that accurately captured the emotions and meaning of Ireland's fight for freedom. Dublin born Liam Mac Uistin, won with his composition "We Saw a Vision".

His poem is displayed in Irish, French, and English on the stone wall at the end of the monument.

It reads:

We Saw A Vision

In the darkness of despair we saw a vision, We lit the light of hope, And it was not extinguished, In the desert of discouragement we saw a vision, We planted the tree of valour, And it blossomed

In the winter of bondage we saw a vision, We melted the snow of lethargy, And the river of resurrection flowed from it.

We sent our vision aswim like a swan on the river, The vision became a reality, Winter became summer, Bondage became freedom, And this we left to you as your inheritance.

O generation of freedom remember us, The generation of the vision.

I think anyone who has ever fought for anything can relate to this moving place.

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