A day to reflect and remember

Each year on Remembrance Day, Australians at home and abroad fall silent to remember the sacrifice of those who gave their lives in service to the nation.

CAPTION: A poppy being placed on the roll of honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Story by Private Jacob Joseph. Photo by Corporal Nunu Campos.

One minute’s silence commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who fought and died in conflict.

Across the country, soldiers join with the community to remember the fallen, with memorial services and events held from Darwin to Melbourne.

In his Remembrance Day message, Chief of the Defence Force General Angus Campbell said this year we also commemorated the centenary of the Air Force, and on this day, we reflect on the more than 11,000 Air Force members who have fallen in service to our country.

General Campbell highlighted the sacrifice of Flying Officer Colin Flockhart, who died piloting his Lancaster bomber over Germany after a raid in 1945.

“In our moments of reflection, we remember the selfless sacrifice of Flying Officer Flockhart, and all those who have died in service to Australia,” General Campbell said.

“Each has a story, a home and the loving arms of a family they one day hoped to return to.

“May their example continue to inspire us as individuals and as a team committed to the defence of our nation.”

This year marks the 103rd anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. The Australian and British people have been pausing to remember for almost as long.

Australian journalist Edward Honey is believed to be the first to propose a period of silence to commemorate the anniversary.

He suggested a five-minute silence in an article to a London newspaper titled A Peace Day Essential.

“Five little minutes only. Five silent minutes of national remembrance. A very sacred intercession,” Mr Honey wrote.

The significance of the day changed following World War II when Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day to commemorate the sacrifice of all who died in war.

Two minutes of silence was the norm for most of the 20th century until 1997, when then Governor-General Sir William Deane formalised one minute’s silence at 11am on November 11.


 
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