A REMEMBRANCE Day service hosted by Quinns Rocks RSL paid tribute to all the men, women and animals who have served Australia in past and ongoing conflicts.
About 100 people attended the November 11 service at Quinns Rocks Sports Club, marking 101 years since the end of World War I and the Armistice on November 11, 1918.
Speaker Tony Warwick said citizens came together in silence “to remember those who remain on foreign shores, those who returned wounded and often broken” defending the country and the sacrifice of more than 100,000 people who left its shores, never to return.
“As time inevitably progresses, the intimate bonds, familial and personal connections of those who failed to return, will lessen as loved ones pass,” he said.
“It is incumbent on all of us to ensure that their sacrifices are never forgotten.”
Mr Warwick said while exact figures were not know, it was widely accepted there were about 40 million casualties during World War I and about 8.5 million military and civilian deaths.
He said more than 417,000 Australian men and women enlisted between 1914 and 1918, with more than 330,000 serving overseas, 60,000 killed and 150,000 wounded, gassed, taken prisoner or suffering disease.
“The so called ‘Great War’ or more ironically the ‘war to end all wars’ proved to be anything but, and for Australia, remains to this day the costliest in terms of casualties,” he said.
“We have the opportunity today to remember and reflect on that terrible period, other conflicts in which Australians have served and importantly those serving today.
“It is also an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of those against whom we have fought, the ones who volunteered in a similar manner to ours, and those who were forced into the conflict with little or no choice.
“We must never forget the effect on the families who remained at home and those, particularly the women, who shouldered the burden of supporting the war effort through their endeavours, keeping everything going whilst grieving for the loss of immediate loved-ones, family, neighbours and members of their communities.”
Mr Warwick reflected on a visit to the battlefields of northern France where white crosses mark the lives lost, and the service of his Scottish grandfather and other relatives who served during World War I before sharing his own service history.
“I joined the Australian Army shortly after Vietnam and at 17 was issued a self-loading rifle, bayonet and training in the art of inflicting injury on others, something that thankfully I never had to do,” he said.
“I wasn’t however allowed to vote or go to the pub, although the latter never seemed to be a problem.
“I was privileged to serve with Aboriginal diggers, diggers from Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, the UK, Italy, the then-Yugoslavia and many other countries and ethnicities.”
Despite their diverse backgrounds, Mr Warwick said those who served, whether born in Australia or having chosen to become citizens, were united in their resolve to protect the country and judged each other by their “integrity, courage and mateship” rather than skin colour, beliefs or backgrounds.
Quinns Rocks RSL president Kenan Huseini gave a welcome address, and said Remembrance Day belonged to everyone as part of Australian heritage and a reminder of those who have served to ensure people could have the lives they do now.
“The mental and physical scars suffered by our veterans many years ago are not too dissimilar now to what is experienced by younger servicemen,” he said.
Salvation Army Major Nikki Curtis lead a prayer, master of ceremonies Walter Harmer read The Ode and Wanneroo Councillor Natalie Sangalli gave a reading during the service, which also included the Australian National Anthem, wreathlaying, a minute’s silence and an RAAF fly past.
About 100 people attended the RSL Quinn's Rocks Western Australia sub branch Remembrance Day service, including a dove…
The doves were released to remember all doves and animals from all wars and conflicts.
Services were also held in Joondalup, Wanneroo and Yanchep.