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Reflecting on Remembrance Day

Daniel Bouwmeester    November 28, 2023    3 min read   

Local veterans, residents, students, and other dignitaries commemorated Remembrance Day on Saturday, November 11.

Remembrance Day is a powerful reminder of the service of Australian defence personnel and their acts of sacrifice across more than a century of wars, conflicts, and operations.

The poppy is a powerful symbol of remembrance, worn to commemorate this day.

Blair MP Shayne Neumann attended the Greater Springfield RSL Sub-Branch Remembrance Day service and laid a wreath beneath the light tower.

“Today we remember the 60,000 Australians who never returned from the Great War,” Mr Neumann said.

For the 105 years since the signing of the Armistice of 11 November 1918 – the end of the First World War – Australia has joined with other countries around the world for a minute’s silence at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month.

“And we remember the more than 103,000 Australians who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in serving our nation in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.”

Mr Neumann also acknowledged the outstanding work of local ex-service organisations for their efforts in promoting the occasion, as well as supporting veterans and their families.

Blair MP Shayne Neumann attended the Greater Springfield RSL Sub-Branch Remembrance Day service along with other community members. Images: Shayne Neumann.

‘Avenue of Remembrance’

At Springfield Central State High School (SCSHS), teacher and Defense Support Mentor Mrs Jacqui D’Castro created a memorial in the school grounds, called the ‘Avenue of Remembrance’.

“This day is one of the most significant events in our commemorative calendar as we honour those who sacrificed their lives while serving in conflicts, wars, and peacekeeping missions,” a representative from the school said.

“We encourage all our students to take a moment to observe the information and timelines displayed in the memorial as they enter or leave the school.”

Images: SCSHS.

Broader reflections

This year in fact coincides with other significant wartime history anniversaries.

November 11 marked the 30th anniversary of the interment of the Unknown Australian Soldier in the Australian War Memorial’s Hall of Memory, in 1993.

August also marked the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

Also, at the neighbouring Ipswich RSL Sub Branch Remembrance Day ceremony, nine newly erected plinths at the Soldiers Memorial Hall gardens received a dedication by Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding.

The nine memorials honour the Afghanistan War, the Boer War, Borneo Confrontation, Iraq War, Korea War, Malayan Emergency, and Vietnam War, as well as Peace Keeping Operations, and contributions by Australia’s First Nations People.

Image: Mayor Teresa Harding.

Counselling hotlines

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling provides 24/7 free confidential crisis support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families on 1800 011 046 or openarms.gov.au.

Safe Zone Support provides anonymous counselling on 1800 142 072.

Defence All-Hours Support Line provides support for ADF personnel on 1800 628 036 or defence.gov.au/health/healthportal. Defence Member and Family Helpline provides support for Defence families on 1800 624 608.

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Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.