There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember.- Ophelia
November is here again. In temperate climates like Canberra’s it is definitely late spring, with roses bursting their buds and bright green canopies of oak and plane to shade the streets. From Sydney north through the subtropics it’s getting hot and humid.
And there is another thing happening now. Today is Remembrance Day, commemorated as always on the 11th of November.
The tradition of a minute’s silence for remembrance and reflection dates from 1919 and was fathered at least in part by the Australian journalist and soldier Edward Honey. He meant it to be, in his own words, “...communion with the glorious dead who won us peace, and from the communion new strength, hope and faith in the morrow…”
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It’s Remembrance Day. And this year, we have more to remember than ever.
Ashley Birt, 22. Bryce Duffy, 26. Luke Gavin, 29. Rowan Robinson, 23. Todd Langley, 35. They’re all diggers killed in Afghanistan, and that’s just since June.
While we’re remembering them though, we need to jog our memories a little further. Because over the course of this Very Long War in Afghanistan, there’s a lot that we’ve forgotten.
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But for a sniper’s sticky trigger, I would not be sitting here writing a last minute article about forgetting to remember Remembrance Day.
For those whose history is a little fuzzy, what was first known as Armistice Day commemorates the moment the guns of the Western Front fell silent at the end of the First World War, at 11am on 11 November 1918.
It became Remembrance Day after the Second World War, and has since become an opportunity for us to pay tribute to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts past and present. At 11am, time stands still.
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