As a nation, we stand as one on Remembrance Day. It was a pleasure to be at the unveiling of the Eternal Flame at the Cotton Tree Park Cenotaph – symbolising eternal life and the spirit of freedom – remembering those who lay down their lives to build the Australia of today.
A video of my speech is below.
At the Australian War Memorial in Canberra are the names of 102,000 members of the Australian armed forces who paid the ultimate sacrifice. When we read these names in Canberra or on the thousands of honour rolls and memorials in town centre’s and country halls in Australia – we keep our promise.
It’s the promise to never forget the service and sacrifice of 416,000 Australians who enlisted and more than 60,000 who never made it home to the country they loved… and the country that loved them in return.
But don’t just see the names – think of the stories behind them.
They gave up their peaceful lives on the farms, the towns and in the cities of a young nation – to travel 17,000 kilometres to the other side of the world and fight in the most destructive war the modern world had seen.
They left behind wives, children, girlfriends, mums, dads, aunties and uncles and their best mates.
So as we remember them – so too, we remember their families and loved ones – and we remember the lost dreams and the hopes for the future that they must have held.
As we remember, we can commit ourselves to respecting their service in all that we do today.
We honour the fallen of 1918 by the way we choose to live in 2018.
We wear a red Flanders poppy and we stand for a minute’s silence at 11am to honour their service and sacrifice, and ensure the memory of their service is preserved and respected.
We 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.
This Remembrance Day, I urge all Australians to attend their local services, wear a red poppy, and stop at 11am for a minute’s silence.
As a nation we should all show our gratitude for the sacrifices of those who have bravely served and died.
Lest we forget.
A special message from the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Scott Morrison is below and attached.