ABOUT 60 people gathered at the Cannonvale Cenotaph for Tuesday’s Remembrance Day service to honour the region’s fallen servicemen and women.
Airlie Beach / Whitsunday RSL sub branch President, Terry Brown, said Remembrance Day was originally intended to mark the ending of World War I, “the war to end all wars”.
“However, as history has shown, World War I was not the war to end all wars,” he said. Mr Brown said Remembrance Day was now about remembering not only those lost during the Great War “but all the servicemen and women lost and injured during all wars and conflicts that have taken place and are still taking place somewhere in the world”. Mr Brown said in the 48 hours preceding this year’s Remembrance Day, Australian Special Services had moved back into Iraq, with Australian jets continuing to carry out missions on a daily basis as part of a Coalition force. He asked all those present to spare a thought not just for these defence personnel, but also for the families left at home while their loved ones were serving on the other side of the world.
Mr Brown paid tribute to the six local returned servicemen and women who had passed away in the last 12 months, with the most recent at 4am that day. “[And] when you remember those no longer with us, don’t remember then as older veterans with a bunch of medals, remember them as young soldiers, airmen and sailors, full of life and with a smile on their face,” he said.
This Remembrance Day was the first of the ANZAC centenary period (2014-18), a time which will mark the centenary of the Great War.
An ANZAC Centenary Program has been developed, which aims to encourage all Australians to reflect upon, and learn more about Australia’s wartime history, the costs and the impact of war on those who participated, on our communities and on the entire nation. Further information about the program, including planned international and domestic events, can be found at: http://www.anzaccentenary.gov.au.