|Remembrance Day is a time to reflect on the peace secured by the courage and sacrifice of Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen.|
Although time has put us at distance from the First World War and its origins, we must remember that Australians believed they were fighting for a just cause, as Europe descended into war in the summer of 1914.
They stood up and fought for the little guy. They fought for Belgians in the small town of Leuven—a community destroyed and pillaged by the German army in August 1914.
Some 300 civilians were murdered, as the historic library was burnt to the ground.
This and other atrocities across the field of conflict left our diggers in no doubt: they were fighting for a noble cause.
Two days prior to the Battle of Hamel in July 1918, Prime Minister Billy Hughes visited the Australian Corps in France. Hughes spoke directly to a group of them, and he said: “Your deeds, the history of this war, are the basis upon which the future nation of Australians will be brought up. You have fought to keep alive the ideal of freedom and to save Australia from the domination to which, if Germany won, we would certainly be subjected. While you are doing that abroad we pledge ourselves to look after your interests at home.”
Today we remember those who gave their lives serving Australia, defending our values and our interests from Gallipoli to Afghanistan.
We are reminded—as Billy Hughes said—of our responsibility to care for those Australians we send to war on our behalf, while they are in harm’s way. And when they return home.
That’s our job. That’s our covenant. Let’s honour them today and always into the future.
Andrew Hastie This morning I attended the RSL WA Branch’s Remembrance Day Service at the State War Memorial in Kings Park. It was an honour to represent the Federal Leader of the Opposition, Hon Peter Dutton MP.
Remembering Our Fallen
11 Nov 2022