Let’s re­mem­ber the fallen

Dar­ren Ch­ester, Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs Min­is­ter

Shepparton News - - OPINION -

One hun­dred years ago, on No­vem­ber 11, 1918, the Ar­mistice that ended the fight­ing dur­ing World War I was signed with Ger­many.

Af­ter more than four years of bru­tal fight­ing in the most de­struc­tive war the mod­ern world had seen, the guns fell silent, and peo­ple around the world re­joiced.

But it came at a great cost, and for Aus­tralia, of the about 416 000 who en­listed for ser­vice more than 60 000 died, the ef­fects of which were felt in ev­ery com­mu­nity, large and small, around the coun­try.

In the years that fol­lowed the war, No­vem­ber 11 was known as Ar­mistice Day and two min­utes of solemn si­lence was ob­served at 11 am.

To­day, No­vem­ber 11 is known as Re­mem­brance Day, and it stands as the day we re­mem­ber the men and women who have suf­fered and died in wars, con­flicts and peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions dur­ing a cen­tury of ser­vice.

This Re­mem­brance Day, I urge all Aus­tralians in com­mu­ni­ties across the na­tion to wear a red Flan­ders Poppy and to stop for a minute’s si­lence to re­mem­ber th­ese brave men and women.

We should also re­mem­ber those who re­turned home car­ry­ing with them the scars of their ser­vice, and the fam­ily mem­bers who cared for them. And we thank those cur­rently serv­ing in the Aus­tralian De­fence Force and on peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions.

As a na­tion we should all show our grat­i­tude for the sac­ri­fice of those who have bravely served and died. For a cen­tury we have re­mem­bered them and we will en­sure they are re­mem­bered still.

Lest we for­get.

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