On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month each year, we pause to remember the service and sacrifice of our fallen men and women who gave their lives in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
Remembrance Day is one of the most significant days of our year and, for more than 100 years, we have paused in silent reflection of the sacrifice of our service personnel. It is a demonstration that we will not forget them.
Originally known as Armistice Day, this solemn day marks the day the guns fell silent on the Western Front during the First World War. Unknown to people at that time, this would not be the last war Australia would see.
Just 20 years later, Australia was at war again in the largest global conflict of the 20th century – the Second World War – which would see some 39,000 Australians die.
It was after the Second World War ended that November 11 became known as Remembrance Day.
This Remembrance Day I encourage all Australians to commemorate our fallen by sharing one minute’s silence in memory of the more than 102,000 Australian men and women who have died in over a century of service in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
I also encourage all Australians to wear a red poppy in remembrance of our fallen, and, if you are a member of our veteran community, to wear the Veteran Lapel Pin or Reservist Lapel Pin, provided as part of the Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant, to help the community readily identify and acknowledge your service to our nation.
This time can be a very emotional one for veterans and their families. If you are a veteran or a family member who is struggling or in need of additional support during this time, I encourage you to call Open Arms 24/7 on 1800 011 046 or visit openarms.gov.au to find more about services available.
Lest we forget.
Darren Chester, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel.