AUSTRALIA’S fallen soldiers were remembered amid a background of poppies and crosses in Camperdown on Friday as locals gathered for Remembrance Day commemorations.
Camperdown RSL vice-president Alan Fleming led the service with support from Camperdown College students Mirryn Ellerton, Lauren McIlveen and Harrison Bennett, St Patrick’s Primary School student Ruby Conheady and Mercy Regional College student Chloe Gibson.
Mr Fleming said it was now 98 years since the guns fell silent in the ‘War to end all wars’ at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.
“The observance of this very point in time is within the hearts and minds of all Australians,” he said.
“More than 416,000 Australians volunteered for service in World War I, of these 324,000 served overseas.
“More than 60,000 Australians were killed, including 45,000 who died on The Western Front in France and Belgium and more than 8000 who died on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.”
The commemoration also marked 74 years since Japanese aircraft bombed Darwin, 65 years since the Battle of Kapyong in Korea and 50 years since the Battle of Long Tan in Vietnam.
“Australia’s 15 year deployment into Afghanistan, with personnel on rotation has created another layer of veterans,” Mr Fleming said.
“Many have returned with injuries both visible and unseen, they have slipped, almost unnoticed into the community and in some cases are homeless.
“It is pleasing to see the attendance of school students and teachers here today.
“Involvement of the next generation is so important and further emphasises the solemn importance of this day in the history of our peoples, our land, our future and symbolically in our very being – as Australians.
“We can never repay those who were lost, the very least we can do is remember them.”