Sol­diers’ sac­ri­fice not for­got­ten

Geraldton Guardian - - 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 some 416,000 who en­listed for ser­vice more than 60,000 died.

The ef­fects of their loss were felt in every com­mu­nity, large and small, around the coun­try.

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

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 over 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.

We thank those 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.

Dar­ren Ch­ester

Min­is­ter for Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs

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