Sunday, November 10, 2013

Remembrance Day

from w
I was listening to the ABC radio a few minutes ago and it seems that Paul Keating is one of our best speech-makers of current times. This was in Caberra and for Remembrance Day today. Today is not a holiday here but traditionally we all stop for a minute's silence at 11 a.m. Below are notes from the ABC website.
Paul Keating delivered the Commemorative Address, marking 20 years since his eulogy to the unknown Australian soldier killed in WWI.
"One-hundred years ago, the horror of all ages came together to open the curtain on mankind's greatest century of violence," he said.
He said the unknown soldier has come to symbolise the bravery and sacrifice of troops, and that ordinary people "were not ordinary at all" during the war.
"Despite the fact that the military campaigns were shockingly flawed and incompetently executed, those ordinary people distinguished themselves by their latent nobility," Mr Keating said.
"The unknown Australian soldier interred in this memorial reminds us of these lessons, as much as he reminds us of the 100,000 Australians lost to us by war."
Mr Keating said he was heartened that many young Australians find a sense of purpose in the Anzac legend.
"They are fortunately too wise to the world to be cannon fodder of the kind their young forebears became, young innocents who had little or no choice," he said.
"Commemorating these events should make us even more wary of grand ambitions and grand alliances of the kind that fractured Europe and darkened the 20th century.
"In the long shadow of these upheavals, we gather to ponder their meaning, and to commemorate the values that shone in their wake. 
"Courage under pressure, ingenuity in adversity, bonds of mateship and above all, loyalty to Australia."


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