At 11 am today the nation paused for Remembrance Day, marking the 99th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War on 11 November 1918, after more than four years of continuous warfare.
On this day each year, people across the globe observe a minute’s silence in memory of those who have died or suffered in war and on operational service, a tradition the Australian War Memorial continued in its National Ceremony in Canberra this morning.
Some 3100 people attended the ceremony on the parade ground. The event was also attended by The Governor General, Defence Chiefs and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
The Commemorative Address was delivered by the Belgian born Federal Minister for Finance, Senator the Honourable Mathias Cormann. He did so on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the bloody Passchendaele campaign in Belgium where 38,000 Australians were killed, wounded or listed as missing in just eight weeks.
Approximately 280 school children attended the event from seven schools across Australia including Semaphore in South Australia and South Perth in Western Australia. Representing the more than 102,000 names on the Memorial’s Roll of Honour, 11 students participated by laying a Commemorative Cross at the Stone of Remembrance.
Forming a Catafalque Party during the ceremony was Australia's Federation Guard, accompanied by the Band of the Royal Military College, Duntroon.
The day will conclude with a moving Last Post Ceremony honouring the Unknown Australian Soldier, whose tomb rests in the Hall of Memory, and whose eulogy was first delivered by former Prime Minister Paul Keating in 1993.
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