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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Remembrance Day: Australians pause to commemorate lives lost in war and conflict

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Around the country today Australians are gathering to honour the memory of those who have died or suffered in wars and armed conflicts.

This Remembrance Day Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, who are currently on their national tour of Australia, are attending the ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

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The National Ceremony will include a formal wreath-laying and students from each state and territory will be present, representing the youth of Australia.

This year’s event focuses on the sacrifice of Indigenous soldiers, with Indigenous author and historian Jackie Huggins giving the commemorative address — the first Indigenous person to ever give an address at the ceremony.

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“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans were often denied the honour and rights given to other veterans such as soldier settlement land grants,” Ms Huggins said.

“Many were refused membership, even entrance to RSL clubs.

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“My father and grandfather, along with many Indigenous men and women served our nation in war.

“Their abiding loyalty to this country we all call home rows above the deep bitterness of the past.”

There will be a special naming of a gallery at the war memorial after Captain Reg Saunders who was the first Aboriginal person commissioned as an officer in the Australian Army.

In Adelaide, the Returned Services League (RSL) is trying to recreate a time when almost everyone came to a halt for one minute by placing buglers around the city to play the Last Post.

Veterans support group Soldier On is asking Australians to not only pause for a moment’s silence today, but also take a minute to reach out to a mate.

Soldier On says nearly 15,000 men and women who have served will battle mental health issues as a result, and half will not seek support.

“Take one minute to remember the ultimate sacrifice made by so many, and then take one minute to remember the recently returned veterans and the challenges and struggles they face,” CEO John Bale said.

This year marks the 97th anniversary of the armistice which ended World War I in 1918.

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month was originally known as Armistice Day however after World War II, the day became Remembrance Day to commemorate all those who have died in war.

On the first anniversary of the armistice in 1919, two minutes’ silence was instituted as part of the main commemorative ceremony at the new Centotaph in London.

The silence was proposed by Australian journalist Edward Honey who was working in Fleet Street.

In 1997 Governor-General Sir William Deane issued a proclamation declaring November 11 to be Remembrance day, urging all Australians to observe one minute’s silence.

Online Source

The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia

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