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Remembrance Day 2019 ceremonies held across Australia

ABC News logo ABC News 11/11/2019 2:55:00

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People at services across the country have marked the Remembrance Day, with outgoing Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson using the occasion to also pay tribute to the Australians "dealing with and facing this enormous fire tragedy."

Today marks 101 years since the Armistice was signed to end the World War I - a conflict that claimed the lives of 60,000 Australians.

This morning, around 3,000 people attended the ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, which was opened by Able Seaman Braidon Newman playing the digeridoo.

In his first Remembrance Day as Governor-General, David Hurley - a former senior Army officer who spent more than four decades in the military - delivered the commemorative address.

"One of the benefits of the past four years of commemoration of the centenary of service that we have conducted in Australia, is that we have reconnected at a personal level to that first war generation," he said.

General Hurley also spoke about swimming champion Cecil Healy - the only Australian Olympic gold medallist to die at war - who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at age 33.

Healy went on to become an infantry platoon commander "despite his reservations about the causes and justification for the war".

"Cecil Healy had no love of the military. No desire to fight. But he recognised that his values and his freedom was threatened," General Hurley explained.

"Reluctantly, he chose to serve, fully understanding the risk contained in that decision. In that, he is an example to us today. In that, we shall be forever grateful to the thousands of men and women, like Cecil, who we remember today.

"Lest we forget."

Earlier today, outgoing Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson told ABC Radio Canberra that those battling the country's devastating bushfires were also in his thoughts.

"Today, of course, I will be thinking about those Australians, inspired by that spirit of mateship that binds us in the face of adversity, who are dealing with and facing this enormous fire tragedy," he said.

Services across the seas

a bird standing on top of a wooden table: A pigeon has recently made the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the Australian War Memorial, its home. (Supplied: Australian War Memorial) © Provided by Australian Broadcasting CorporationA pigeon has recently made the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the Australian War Memorial, its home. (Supplied: Australian War Memorial) Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II and members of the royal family attended the annual Remembrance Day service in London, along with the country's current and former prime ministers.

The Queen, flanked by the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge, watched from a balcony as Prince Charles laid a wreath of scarlet poppies on the Cenotaph war memorial, near Parliament.

The Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of York also laid wreaths.

The 93-year-old monarch, who served as an army mechanic during World War II, performed the wreath-laying for most of her 67-year reign, but has cut back on her public duties - as has her 98-year-old husband Prince Philip, who has retired from public engagements.

11. marraskuuta 2019 4:55:00 Categories: ABC News RTBF info - belgique

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