State unites to re­flect on sac­ri­fice

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - ANNE MATHER

LARGE crowds are ex­pected to gather for Re­mem­brance Day ser­vices to­day as Tas­ma­nia stops to com­mem­o­rate a cen­tury since World War I sol­diers laid down their guns.

More than 40 Re­mem­brance Day ser­vices are be­ing held around the state, which is dou­ble the usual num­ber, to mark 100 years since Ar­mistice Day — November 11, 1918.

RSL state pres­i­dent Terry Roe said the sac­ri­fice made by the thou­sands of Tas­ma­ni­ans who died fight­ing in World War I has not been for­got­ten.

“I think there will be huge crowds turn­ing out across Tas­ma­nia given the sig­nif­i­cance of this day,” Mr Roe said.

He said a hun­dred years may have passed since World War I sol­diers laid down their guns, but the depth of gratitude still ran deep as a new gen­er­a­tion con­tin­ued to learn about the sig­nif­i­cance of the event.

“We had four years of bru­tal con­flict in World War I, dur­ing which more than 15,000 Tas­ma­ni­ans en­listed and close to 3000 Tas­ma­ni­ans died.

“When the Ar­mistice was signed it was a huge, huge re­lief for peo­ple back here, know­ing their loved ones were go­ing to re­turn home.”

Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs Min­is­ter Guy Bar­nett said Tas­ma­ni­ans would not only stop to re­mem­ber the devastating war­fare of World War I, but all wars.

“On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, Aus­tralians pause for a minute si­lence to re­mem­ber those men and women who have served and sac­ri­ficed for their coun­try,” Mr Bar­nett said.

“Re­mem­brance Day was orig­i­nally called Ar­mistice Day and com­mem­o­rated the end of World War I, but now serves as a time to re­mem­ber all those who have died in war.

“I en­cour­age Tas­ma­ni­ans to at­tend lo­cal ser­vices as we re­mem­ber the sac­ri­fice and loss of our fore­bears.

“Since Fed­er­a­tion, Tas­ma­ni­ans have fought valiantly in con­flicts and taken part in peace­keep­ing ef­forts around the world. It is be­cause of their sac­ri­fice that we en­joy the free­doms we have to­day.”

High school stu­dent Mia Cooper, 15, will be one of many young Tas­ma­ni­ans mak­ing their way to the Ho­bart Ceno­taph to­day, which is ex­pected to host the state’s largest Re­mem­brance Day gather­ing.

“World War I had a sig­nifi- cant im­pact on Aus­tralia, and on Tas­ma­nia,” said Mia, who is in Grade 9 at Ogilvie High School.

Mia is one of six Tas­ma­nian school stu­dents who have been awarded this year’s Frank McDon­ald Me­mo­rial Prize, which is a his­tory essay com­pe­ti­tion. The stu­dents will all travel to France and Bel­gium next year to take part in An­zac Day com­mem­o­ra­tions.

Mia’s essay out­lined the im­pact of World War I, with a dis­cus­sion about whether the war made Aus­tralia a bet­ter place.

“I said it did make Aus­tralia bet­ter be­cause it united us. We were only 13 years old, a newly fed­er­ated coun­try go­ing off to war.”

She said the dev­as­ta­tion of war was not an “ideal” way to unite a new coun­try, “but it worked”. Mia said she also re­searched her own fam­ily his­tory for the essay, by scour­ing na­tional ar­chives and the state li­brary ar­chives for war records.

“His­tory is a sub­ject I’ve al­ways en­joyed, but hav­ing a level of con­nec­tion made it even more in­ter­est­ing.”

The full list of Frank Mac­Don­ald Me­mo­rial Prize win­ners for 2018 are: Grif­fin McLaugh­lin (Tar­remah Steiner School), Jenna Stacey (Mount Carmel Col­lege), Ly­dia Kelly (St Pa­trick’s Col­lege), Mia Cooper (Ogilvie High School), Nell Hentschel (Bayview Sec­ondary Col­lege) and Wil­liam Scott (Scotch Oak­burn Col­lege).

e‘ I ncour­age Tas­ma­ni­ans to at­tend lo­cal ser­vices as we re­mem­ber the sac­ri­fice and loss of our fore­bears. GUY BAR­NETT, MIN­IS­TER FOR VET­ER­ANS’ AF­FAIRS

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