On Saturday 11 November I joined Port Macquarie-Hastings mayor Peta Pinson and Port Macquarie RSL Sub-branch president Greg Laird for the Remembrance Day service on the Town Green.
The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month is the anniversary of the Armistice in 1918, that ended the fighting in WWI.
World War One was the first modern global conflict that saw the mobilisation of more than 70 million people and left between nine and 13 million dead.
Nearly 300,000 Australians served in France and Belgium during WWI, where 45,000 died – more than one third of them have no known grave.
After the end of the WWII, the Australian and British governments changed the name to Remembrance Day. Armistice Day was no longer an appropriate title for a day which would commemorate all war dead.
At this time, the nation observes a minute’s silence for more than 102,000 Australians who have died in all wars and theatres of conflict.
In Australia, on the 75th anniversary of the armistice in 1993, Remembrance Day ceremonies were again the focus of national attention.
The remains of an unknown Australian soldier, exhumed from a WWI military cemetery in France, were ceremonially entombed in the Memorial's Hall of Memory.
Across our nation’s history, more than 1.5 million Australians have defended of our nation and values in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping.
Remembrance Day is a time to stop and think about the lives cut short by war and how that affected families, friends and communities.
We also reflect on the men and women who volunteer to join our defence forces prepared to fight and die for our country and the values we hold dear.
The service in Port Macquarie was a perfect opportunity to pause and reflect on all of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of our nation.
Lest we forget.