Secretary of the Department of Defence Greg Moriarty and Chief of the Defence Force General Angus Campbell were among those who honoured the fallen at the national Remembrance Day service at the Australian War Memorial today.
Following is the joint statement from Mr Moriarty and General Campbell on the importance of this day of reflection:
“Today we join together to mark Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the day the guns fell silent on the Western Front and the First World War came to an end.
“One of our own, Driver Reginald Fry of the Australian Motor Transport Service, was in London for the announcement of the Armistice, mingling with the exuberant crowds who gathered for public celebrations.
“He wrote: ‘As a matter of fact, our chaps, diggers, did not do much shouting or noise making at all, we feel rather too much thunderstruck or stunned or subdued to be noisy.
“ ‘Also, I think, most of us had our thoughts centred round those good pals of ours who would never return to Australia …’
“Today, we reflect on all those who’ve died or suffered for Australia’s cause in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations around the world.
“With sorrow and solidarity, we acknowledge the grief and suffering of their families.
“And we reflect on the enduring impact of war on those who serve and the people who love them.
“Each year since 1918, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, we stand and observe a minute of silence in honour of the fallen.
“Listed on the bronze panels of the Roll of Honour in the cloisters of the Australian War Memorial are the names of more than 103,000 Australians who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country.
“We give thanks for their service and honour their sacrifice.
“We draw strength from their example and renew our commitment, one and all, to work together to defend Australia.
“Lest we forget.”
For more information on Remembrance Day, visit Defence’s Remembrance Day web page.