One hundred years ago, on 11 November 1918, the Armistice that ended the fighting during the First World War was signed with Germany.
After more than four years of brutal fighting in the most destructive war the modern world had seen, the guns fell silent, and people around the world rejoiced.
But it came at a great cost, and for Australia, of the some 416,000 who enlisted for service more than 60,000 died—the effects of which were felt in every community, large and small, around the country.
In the years that followed the war, 11 November was known as Armistice Day and two minutes of solemn silence was observed at 11am.
Today, 11 November is known as Remembrance Day, and it stands as the day we remember the men and women who have suffered and died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations over a century of service.
This Remembrance Day, I urge all Australians in communities across the nation to wear a red Flanders Poppy and to stop for a minute’s silence to remember these brave men and women.
We should also 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 in the Australian Defence Force and on peacekeeping operations.
As a nation we should all show our gratitude for the sacrifice of those who have bravely served and died. For a century we have remembered them and we will ensure they are remembered still.
Lest we forget.
The Hon. Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs