Published: Tue 5 Feb 2013

Wreathlaying ceremony marks the opening of Parliament

Today the Director of the Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, and the Chairman, Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (Ret’d), welcomed the Prime Minister, The Hon. Julia Gillard MP and the Leader of the Opposition, The Hon. Tony Abbott MP, to the Australian War Memorial.

This special occasion was to lay wreaths in remembrance at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier within the Hall of Memory.

This event marks the opening of Parliament for 2013 and is a symbol of the nation’s respect for those Australian service men and women who have given their lives in war and in peace.

Ms Phyllida Behm, a Simpson Prize recipient from Canberra Girls Grammar School, recited the Ode.

The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson said today’s wreathlaying was in keeping with Charles Bean’s vision, Here is their spirit in the heart of the land they loved, and here we guard the record which they themselves made, “the symbolism of both our political leaders laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the start of the parliamentary year is potent. In it we are reminded that governments and parliaments make decisions that have a price – ultimately the lives of Australian service men and women” said Dr Nelson.

The Hall of Memory, set above the Pool of Reflection, is the heart of the Australian War Memorial. Resting inside lies the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, a symbol of all those who have fallen in service of Australia.



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