Light towers along Olympic Boulevard tribute to previous games

Posted: Monday, September 25, 2000

G'day mates,

One of the central gathering places in Sydney this week has been Olympic Boulevard, a wide expanse of pavement that allows easy movement from one venue to another in Sydney Olympic Park. Almost any time of night or day it is packed with a mob of people having a good time.

Yet it the middle of the frivolity is a small tribute to one of the more sobering moments in Olympic history. There are 16 light towers along the boulevard, each one dedicated to a site of a previous Olympic Games.

On tower No. 14, dedicated to the 1972 Munich Games, is a tiny stainless steel plaque honoring the 11 Israeli athletes and officials killed in a terrorist raid during the Games. Above the panel with the names is a blue glass panel with a Hebrew inscription and English translation.

"God of compassion, let them find shelter in the shadow of your wings and may their souls be bound up in the bond of everlasting life," reads the inscription.

In the midst of all the merriment surrounding the Olympics it's interesting to watch how many people stop to read the plaque and walk away with their heads down, obviously moved by this reminder that not even the Olympics are immune from violence and political divisions.

See you in the soup,


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