Ev­ery­one is kiss­ing in the streets



QUEENS­LAN­DERS will be en­cour­aged to re­cap­ture the joy of the first Ar­mistice as they mark the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of World War I to­day.

The call comes from RSL Queens­land State Pres­i­dent Tony Fer­ris who will ad­dress about 5000 peo­ple gath­ered at the Shrine of Re­mem­brance in Bris­bane this morn­ing. Many more will watch big screens in King Ge­orge Square.

“This year, the Centenary of the Ar­mistice, I urge you to re­mem­ber the spirit of that first Ar­mistice when the streets over­flowed with hap­pi­ness and peo­ple hoped it re­ally would be the be­gin­ning of a last­ing peace,” his pre­pared speech says.

And in a mod­ern twist, he has called for peo­ple to put down their phones to qui­etly re­flect on the sac­ri­fice of all those who have served their coun­try.

“I ask all Queens­lan­ders to put down their phones and stop what they’re do­ing at 11am to con­tem­plate the courage of the thou­sands of Aus­tralians who have served to pro­tect our way of life,” Mr Fer­ris said.

“Take some time to­day to talk to our vet­er­ans and re­as­sure them that we will not for­get their con­tri­bu­tion.”

Mr Fer­ris said the ser­vice in Ann St was the time for solem­nity.

“We gather at the Shrine of Re­mem­brance, a me­mo­rial that re­minds us of the ter­ri­ble price paid by our ser­vice men and women, their fam­i­lies and their com­mu­ni­ties.

“The fallen re­mained on for­eign soil; their fam­i­lies had no grave­stone to visit. This me­mo­rial, like those in every town and city through­out Queens­land, be­came the fo­cus for the com­mu­nity’s grief and re­spect and they re­main so even to­day.”

It was pos­si­ble or­gan­is­ers would re­turn to the orig­i­nal two min­utes of si­lence this year. It was re­duced to one minute around the time of World War II.

Mr Fer­ris said that hav­ing ac­knowl­edged the loss, it was im­por­tant to re­call that the Ar­mistice was ‘‘to cel­e­brate the end of war”.

Bells will ring out across Bris­bane at 12.30pm to­day and about 7000 peo­ple will at­tend a ‘‘ Free­dom Sounds” con­cert at River­stage from 1.30pm.

Pete Murray, Kate Ce­ber­ano and Ash Grun­wald will head­line the free fam­ily event aimed at re­flect­ing the cel­e­bra­tory mood 100 years ago when the guns fi­nally fell silent on the bat­tle­fields of the Western Front.

From a pop­u­la­tion of five mil­lion, al­most 417,000 Aus­tralian men en­listed for World War I and more than 3000 women served as nurses.

Act­ing Gov­er­nor, Chief Jus­tice Cather­ine Holmes, will lay a wreath at this morn­ing’s ser­vice on be­half of Queens­land Gov­er­nor, His Ex­cel­lency Paul de Jer­sey who will be at the Villers-Bre­ton­neux Mil­i­tary Ceme­tery in France.

In a video mes­sage to be re­leased to­day, Mr de Jer­sey says: “To­day, as well as com­mem­o­rat­ing the centenary with a fo­cus on the past – the amaz­ing courage and com­mit­ment of our fore­bears – we ac­knowl­edge also our coura­geous ser­vice men and women in ac­tive fields of war, striv­ing now for the peace which still re­gret­tably eludes us.”

Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk told The Sun­day Mail: “This Re­mem­brance Day is par­tic­u­larly poignant, and is an op­por­tu­nity for Queens­lan­ders to hon­our the ser­vice and sac­ri­fice made by all ser­vice­men and women for the free­dom and lifestyle we en­joy to­day.

“We owe those brave men and women so very much.”

Mean­while, new ca­reers are open­ing up to mil­i­tary vet­er­ans as the Palaszczuk Govern­ment of­fers the op­por­tu­nity for vets to make a new start in a pub­lic ser­vice ca­reer.

The On­line Ca­reers Fair, co­or­di­nated by the Queens­land Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, is de­signed to help exAus­tralian De­fence Force mem­bers match their skills with a variety of jobs.

In the first seven days of regis­tra­tions, more than 150 vet­er­ans from across Queens­land have al­ready signed up to dis­cover ca­reer op­tions in the pub­lic sec­tor.

The La­bor Govern­ment is con­fi­dent sev­eral hun­dred more will regis­ter be­fore the cut-off dead­line in 12 days.

The Premier said vet­er­ans pos­sessed some of the most well-re­garded di­verse and read­ily trans­fer­able skills and ex­pe­ri­ence in the labour mar­ket.

One of those is CITEC ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Lance Perry, who pre­vi­ously worked for the Aus­tralian Royal Navy.

“Since July, 53 vet­er­ans have been em­ployed in jobs as di­verse as rangers, HR pro­fes­sion­als, project man­agers and in­tel­li­gence an­a­lysts,’’ Ms Palaszczuk said.

The street is thick with ex­cite­ment, horns blow­ing, bells clang­ing and singing. The place is gor­geous with flags, ev­ery­one is kiss­ing in the streets and no one seems ashamed of it.

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