A day to reflect on the service and sacrifice of our heroes
TERRITORIANS are being urged to not only purchase a red poppy this Remembrance Day, but also to buy a purple one.
The new colour honours and acknowledges the impact animals have in wars, and the sacrifice they’ve given.
Karama local Brigitte Hyde said she’d be buying one of each of the poppies today.
“A lot of the animals that were involved in the war have been forgotten,” she said.
“We remember the main ones, like Simpson and his donkey, but we mainly focus on us humans. But animals are like us humans and they have feelings too, even if we can’t always tell what they are.”
The purple poppy was created in 2006 to remember the animal victims of war.
Fundraising for the Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation, the “animal poppy” can be worn alongside the traditional red one. AWAMO is a volunteer organisation which aims to educate the next generation of Australians to understand the sacrifices our four-legged diggers have made.
“... we remember all service men and women, including peacekeepers, who have lost their lives and paid the ultimate sacrifice for service to their country”
ACKNOWLEDGING and remembering is important for the Parker family this Remembrance Day.
With a strong military history spanning multiple generations, Captain Bryan Parker said he felt it was important to think not only of those who died in World War I, but of all military personnel.
“Remembrance Day started with the armistice that was called at the end of the First World War or the Great War, the war to end all wars,” he said.
“It’s when they stopped firing on the Western Front after so much loss of lives on all sides.
“But subsequently, we don’t only remember those who paid the supreme sacrifice in World War I but remember, particularly in Australia, we remember all service men and women, including peacekeepers, who have lost their lives and paid the ultimate sacrifice for service to their country.”
Captain Parker comes from a long line of service personnel.
“For me it’s quite a personal day,” he said.
“My great-grandfather died on the Western Front as part of the 53rd Australian Infantry Battalion at just 28-years-old.
“My own father served in the Vietnam War ... and he served in the Guided Missile Destroyer HMAS Brisbane which was on the gunline off the coast of Vietnam, providing naval gunfire support.”
And both of his wife’s grandfathers served their countries as well.
Following on in their tradition, Captain Parker has served in the Navy for 31 years now.
He has deployed to Afghanistan, and worked with protection operations in Northern Australia.
“I’m extremely proud of our long history of service,” he said. “I’m proud to be part of the Australian Defence Force. Even to this day we have 2300 Australian service men and women serving in various theatres around the world.”
Seven-year-old Angus Parker said he was proud of his father’s military service.
The family will be attending the Remembrance Day commemorations at the Darwin Cenotaph today.
The service will start at 10.30am on the Darwin Esplanade, with a speech from NT Administrator Vicki O’Halloran.
Darwin RSL gaming assistant Brigitte Hyde will have the traditional red poppy, as well as the purple poppy, which honour animal victims of war
Captain Bryan Parker and his son Angus will reflect on Remembrance Day today
Captain Bryan Parker and his son Angus Parker, 7, will be reflecting on what the Australian Defence Force means to them on Remembrance Day