They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.
THIS stanza, from the poem For The Fallen by Laurence Binyon, is one of the most solemn and sacred utterances repeated at each Remembrance Day.
On Sunday, at 11am, millions of people will pause for a minute’s silence to pay respect to those who have died or suffered for Australia’s cause in all wars and armed conflicts.
Sadly, this day, which marks the hour, day and month when the Armistice came into effect, now includes not only the fallen from both world wars, but those who have died in Korea, Vietnam, on peace-keeping missions and, most recently, in Afghanistan.
It is 94 years since the Armistice was signed to mark the cessation of fighting between the Allies and Germany in World War 1, but the “war to end all wars”, as US president Woodrow Wilson called WW1, obviously was not. No matter what age you are, whether or not you have a past or present family member who fought for their country, or you are pacifist – the sacrifice made by the fallen can never be diminished.
Men and women of our armed services dedicate themselves to the concept of keeping the peace, no matter where they are deployed.
So wherever you are at 11am on Sunday – Lest we forget.