Show respect for sacrifice
As mayor of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, I urge residents to attend at least one of the functions this weekend to mark the centenary of the end of WWI.
While the events of today and tomorrow link to the 1914-18 war, your attendance is recognition of the sacrifice made in all wars — from both world wars to Korea, Vietnam and today in the Middle East.
Hundreds of thousands of Australians have lost their lives or been seriously injured, many of them from the Goldfields.
On this special occasion they deserve your respect. In 1918, the crowds were joyous, with celebrations lasting for days in Hannan Street and Burt Street.
However, for every reveller in the street, there would have been a mother sitting at home knowing her son would never return.
A century later — immune from the personal horrors of war — the services will be more sombre and reflective of the price paid by so many. We will not be cheering and singing songs, relieved that our loved ones and friends who had survived to November 11 will now be coming home.
I have been to the Australian War Memorial at VillersBretonneux in France.
Some of the gravestones show young Australians were killed right up to November 11, and in some cases the wounded died days and weeks later. Every death is a terrible tragedy.
It might have been the war that changed Australia from six colonies to a nation but it was a terrible, cruel war and that is why we should show our respect this weekend.
At the time the world thought WWI was to be the war that ended all wars, but we know that was not the case — that young lives are still being sacrificed.
As a nation we must always, without equivocation, respect and honour those who have fought for Australia, even if history shows we should not have been involved in a particular conflict.
The invasion of Iraq is one that comes to mind, with hindsight showing it to be an unjust war.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder has a proud history of young men and women defending our nation. This weekend we should honour them and attend one of the services in Kalgoorlie or Boulder. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to ban the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes next year, possibly making his state the first to prohibit such vaping products, often marketed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes.
A spokesman for the Democratic governor told The Wall Street Journal his administration would soon republish regulations banning the sale or possession of flavored e-cigarettes. The regulations could then be adopted after a 60day period of public comment.
The State Department of Health posted the regulations on Wednesday but rescinded them to allow additional time for legal review.
Vaping is illegal for minors in many States, but students say they can buy them online or from adults.
We must always . . . respect and honour those who have fought for Australia.
Signed Alston prints are available from www.westpix.com.au. Phone 9482 2378.