Over the weekend the world-famous Sydney Opera House honored Australian firefighters with a truly moving visual tribute
Saturday evening, the Sydney Opera House took a few hours to honor the brave and heroic firefighters who have been battling the devastating brush fires in Australia.
In a stunning display, the performing arts center’s trademark sails were illuminated with iconic images of firefighters doing their part to save the country’s habitat, animals, and human lives.
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Tonight, we are illuminating the Sydney Opera House sails to show our support for everyone affected by the Australian bushfires. We want to send a message of hope and strength, and importantly to thank the emergency services and volunteers for their incredible efforts and courage. 📸 @kenleanfore
“THANK YOU FIRIES,” read a sign in one of the images. Many of the others featured images of the firefighters themselves.
“Tonight, we are illuminating the Sydney Opera House sails to show our support for everyone affected by the Australian bushfires,” they wrote in a series of three images on Instagram, showcasing the jaw-dropping tribute. “We want to send a message of hope and strength, and importantly to thank the emergency services and volunteers for their incredible efforts and courage.”
A video of the tribute was also shared by The New South Wales Rural Fire Service on Facebook.
“The famous sails of the Sydney Opera House have been lit up in a special tribute tonight,” they wrote alongside it. “While there have been many people, agencies, groups and members of the community involved in the firefighting effort, there is special recognition for NSW RFS volunteers who have worked so hard to protect communities.”
The fires, which have been burning since before Christmas, have already consumed an area of 31,000 square miles across Australia, and are responsible for 25 human deaths, and the destruction of at least 2,000 homes. In addition to the people who have died, one of the most tragic stories so far has involved the wildlife, with experts have estimating that by the time the fires are contained, in excess of a billion animals will have lost their lives. And it doesn’t end there. They also guess that 30 percent of the koalas’ natural habitats will be destroyed by the blaze.
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I am heartbroken over the devastation of the wildfires in Australia. With the loss of over 500 million animals and many people left without their homes, we need to act now to help in whatever way we can. I have been going to Australia for over 20 years so this devastation is hitting me particularly hard. Here’s how we all can help: donate what you can and support organizations like @world_wildlife @wireswildliferescue @nswrfs @cfavic who are doing everything they can to provide resources to rehabilitate Australia’s wildlife. Photos via @kararosenlund and @wwf
Luckily, the world has been rallying around Australia during this tragic time. Last week, firefighters from the United States and Canada traveled across the world to help battle the flames. Even Lizzo, who happened to be on tour in country, put her performances on hold she could help out. And, multiple celebrities and public figures –ranging from Aussies Chris Hemsworth and Nicole Kidman to tennis champion Serena Williams — have donated massive amounts of money to the cause.