Letter to the Editor — Remembrance Day

Tuesday, November 3 2020

The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel

Dear Editor

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month each year, we pause to remember the service and sacrifice of our fallen men and women who gave their lives in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

Remembrance Day is one of the most significant days of our year and for more than 100 years we have paused in silent reflection of the sacrifice of our service personnel. It is a demonstration that we will not forget them.

Originally known as Armistice Day, this solemn day marks the day the guns fell silent on the Western Front during the First World War. Unknown to people at that time, this would not be the last war Australia would see.

Just 20 years later Australia was at war again, in the largest global conflict of the 20th century — the Second World War which would see some 39,000 Australians die.

It was after the Second World War ended that 11 November became known as Remembrance Day.

This Remembrance Day I encourage all Australians to commemorate our fallen by sharing one minute’s silence in memory of the more than 102,000 Australian men and women who have died in over a century of service in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

I also encourage all Australians to wear a red poppy in remembrance of our fallen, and, if you are a member of our veteran community, to wear the Veteran Lapel Pin or Reservist Lapel Pin, provided as part of the Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant, to help the community readily identify and acknowledge your service to our nation.

This time can be a very emotional one for veterans and their families. If you are a veteran or a family member who is struggling or in need of additional support during this time, I encourage you to call Open Arms 24/7 on 1800 011 046 or visit the Open Arms website to find more about the services available.

Lest we forget.

Darren Chester

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Minister for Defence Personnel

Media contacts

Rachel Tharratt: 02 6277 7820

DVA Media: 02 6289 6466

Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT

Media note:

Remembrance Day can be a deeply emotional time for Australia’s veterans and their families and some may find this time of year difficult. As you cover stories and run programs about Australia’s military history and its effect on Australians who have served in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) requests you include contact details for specialised counselling services and resources for veterans where appropriate.

  • Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling Service (formerly VVCS) provides free and confidential counselling and support for current and former ADF members and their families. They can be reached 24/7 on 1800 011 046 or visit the Open Arms website for more information.

Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au