FAM­ILY AF­FAIR

A day to re­flect on the ser­vice and sac­ri­fice of our heroes

NT News - - FRONT PAGE - PHILLIPPA BUTT phillippa.butt@news.com.au

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.

Pic­ture: JUSTIN KENNEDY

Cap­tain Bryan Parker and his son An­gus will re­flect on Re­mem­brance Day to­day

Pic­ture: PATRINA MALONE

Dar­win RSL gam­ing as­sis­tant Brigitte Hyde will have the tra­di­tional red poppy, as well as the pur­ple poppy, which hon­our an­i­mal vic­tims of war

Pic­ture: JUSTIN KENNEDY

Cap­tain Bryan Parker and his son An­gus Parker, 7, will be re­flect­ing on what the Aus­tralian De­fence Force means to them on Re­mem­brance Day

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