B Y EVELYN OPILAS – Members of the Australia Philippines Services League (APSL) marked Remembrance Day 11 Nov with their RSL Rooty Hill Sub-Branch peers, with APSL head Col Chris Pilao (Ret) laying a wreath at the Novotel Hotel West HQ function room.
At precisely 11am, attendees observed a minute of silence, calling to mind the men and women who sacrificed their lives in various areas of war, conflict and peacekeeping in the service of their country.
Col. Pilao said that due to COVID-19 rules, it was enough that the group was represented on Remembrance Day by members who were available.
November 11 commemorates the end of fighting on the Western Front on November 11, 1918.
It pays tribute to the service and sacrifice of those who have died since World War I, where 60,000 Australians died in Gallipoli.
Used to be known as Armistice Day, referring to the formal agreement the German leaders signed to end the war, it was renamed Remembrance Day after World War II ceased in 1945.
In Australia, states and territories observed a minute silence, with flags at half-mast. The Last Post and The Rouse, traditionally performed on a bugle, were played before the minute of silence and as flags were slowly raised, respectively.
The red poppy, the traditional emblem of Remembrance Day, is worn as a symbol of remembrance and hope since World War I. Thousands of this bright red flower grew in the battlefields of Western Europe.
Rosemary, another symbol of remembrance, has been particularly significant for Australians as it abounds on the Gallipoli peninsula. Traditionally worn on Anzac Day (April 25), people also use it at times on Remembrance Day.
Attendees stood during the reading of The Ode from the poem For the Fallen by Laurance Binyon:
They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.