While COVID-19 restrictions prevented Anzac Day marches from proceeding earlier in the year, Remembrance Day commemorations went ahead, albeit with limited attendance in line with COVID safety plans.
The national commemorative service at the Australian War Memorial on November 11 began with Worimi man Leading Aircraftman Tarryn Roach playing the didgeridoo. He was given permission to play by the Ngunnawal people who are the traditional owners of the land where the memorial is located.
After the Last Post and a minute’s silence, Corporal Dan Keighran VC delivered the address.
Wreaths were laid by the Governor-General General (retd) David Hurley, who was accompanied by his wife, Linda, as well as parliamentarians, Defence chiefs and national leaders of ex-service organisations.
Warrant Officer of the Air Force Fiona Grasby said it was important to her to take time on Remembrance Day to pause and reflect.
“Reflect on all who have fallen in peace and in war, their families, and for our ADF that I feel privileged to serve,” she said.
Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army Warrant Officer Class 1 Grant McFarlane, speaking on the 102nd anniversary of the end of World War I, noted the importance of remembering those who served and laid down their lives.
But he also reflected on more recent events.
“We also remember and pay tribute to those closer to home who have suffered from the bushfires and the coronavirus,” he said.
“It shows, regardless of the circumstances, we are a resilient nation whose people support and respect each other, and we get on with the job.
“Today was about reflecting on my grandfather’s service and my service to our nation.
“This reinforces why I am a proud member of the Australian Army and even prouder of our women and men who currently serve our nation and those who have served.”
The commemorative service was supported by Australia’s Federation Guard and the Band of the Royal Military College Duntroon.