Crowds are set to return to in-person Remembrance Day ceremonies across the country today, November 11, for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Following Covid-19 disruptions in 2020, previous commemorations have been forced to limit crowd numbers or stream services online due to restrictions. For those who want to watch the official ceremony from the Australian War Memorial, you can stream it online this year.
This year’s Remembrance Day marks the 103rd anniversary of the Armistice which ended the First World War. More than 300,000 Australians served overseas and over 60,000 lost their lives. At 11am Australians will observe a minute’s silence to commemorate Remembrance Day, in honour of all those Australians who have suffered and died defending the country.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said Remembrance Day remained one of the most significant days of the year for Australians.
“We must never forget the courage, valour and sacrifice of all those men and women who have served this nation in war, conflicts and peacekeeping operations,” he said.
“From those who fought on the Western Front more than hundred years ago to those still serving abroad today, we must continue to acknowledge their service and sacrifice.”
Gee said Remembrance Day “can be a difficult time for many veterans and those families who lost loved ones.”
“This year will be particularly difficult for those who served in Afghanistan, and their families,” he said.
“We should use this day to also acknowledge the tireless work of all those individuals and organisations who support our veterans and their families. Many of them are veterans themselves and selflessly devote their time to helping others.”
RSL NSW President Ray James encouraged Australians to observe a minute’s silence and reflect on “those who have given their lives in service to their country, those who have come home injured or ill, and those who bravely serve the country today.”
“Millions of Australians have personal connections to our nation’s significant military history, either as a current or former serving Defence member or as the relative of someone who served,” he said.
“Australia’s shared history binds us; it strengthens our sense of identify and unifies us.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will attend a service in Melbourne and took to Instagram to mark the significant day.
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The Australian War Memorial will commemorate Remembrance Day 2021 with the National Ceremony on 11 November commencing at 10:45am in the Memorial’s Captain Reg Saunders Courtyard. The Remembrance Day National Ceremony will be broadcast live on ABC television and radio. The broadcast will also be live-streamed on the Memorial’s Facebook page.
Memorial Director Matt Anderson strongly encouraged people to commemorate at home by watching the broadcast and to take the time to reflect on this important day, if they’re unable to attend the ceremony.
“The Memorial invites all Australians wherever they are across the nation to commemorate with us at 11am on 11 November through the ABC broadcast or online on Remembrance Day,” he said.