Valley set for 99th anniversary of Remembrance Day

LEST WE FORGET:  Students from Montessori Preschool attend the Remembrance Day service at the Soldiers Memorial Hall in 2016. The 2017 event service will begin at 10.45am. Photo: Toby Vue
LEST WE FORGET: Students from Montessori Preschool attend the Remembrance Day service at the Soldiers Memorial Hall in 2016. The 2017 event service will begin at 10.45am. Photo: Toby Vue

November 11, 2017 will mark the 99th anniversary of the Remembrance Day, which will be held at the Yass Cenotaph, outside the Soldiers’ Memorial Hall at 10.45am.

The ceremony will be attended by Colonel Neil Turner (retired), president of the Yass RSL Sub-Branch, who will lay a wreath of behalf of the RSL Air Vice Marshal Bob Richardson (retired), AO DFC will lay a wreath on behalf of Legacy

Representatives of Yass Valley Council will also be in attendance.

In Australia, Remembrance Day is observed on November 11.

Services are held at 11am at War Memorials, schools and in towns across the country.

During the service, the Last Post is sounded by a bugler followed by one-minute silence and Reveille.

This tradition was started after World War I, as at 11am on November 11, 1918 the guns on the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of warfare.

This was due to the Germans calling for an armistice (suspension of fighting) to secure a peace settlement.

The Germans accepted the Allied terms of unconditional surrender.

The moment when hostilities ceased on the Western Front became universally associated with the remembrance of those who had died during the war, as this first modern world conflict had brought about the mobilisation of more than 70 million people and left between 9 and 13 million dead with as many as one-third of them with no known grave.

On the first anniversary, November 11, 1919 the two minutes silence was included as a part of the main commemorative ceremony at the new Cenotaph in London.

The silence was proposed by an Australian journalist working in Fleet Street, Edward Honey.

King George V personally requested all the people of the British Empire to suspend normal activities for two minutes on the hour of the armistice “which stayed the world-wide carnage of the four preceding years and marked the victory of Right and Freedom”.

In Australia on the 75th anniversary, November 11, 1993 Remembrance Day ceremonies became the focus of national attention again as the remains of an Unknown Australia Soldier, exhumed from a WWI military cemetery in France were ceremonially entombed in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

This ceremony re-established Remembrance Day as a significant day of commemoration in Australia.

Four years later in November 1997 the Governor-General Sir William Deane issued a proclamation formally declaring November 11 Remembrance Day and encouraging all Australians to observe one minute’s silence at 11am on November 11 each year to remember those who died or suffered for Australia’s cause in all wars and armed conflicts.