The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month marks the moment the guns fell silent on the Western Front.
Over the past century, this moment has been adopted across the globe as a time to remember those who served and sacrificed in all wars and conflicts.
That’s often been the focus – war – and rightly so. It’s during these conflicts that we ask our service men and women to make the greatest sacrifice; risking life and limb, time away from family and friends, and the mental and emotional scars many carry with them for the rest of their lives.
There’s a toll on their families and communities as well.
But this Remembrance Day, I want to highlight the work our Australian Defence Force personnel do in peacetime.
During the horrific summer of bushfires in 2019-20, the ADF were there for our drought and bushfire-stricken farmers, supporting evacuation centres and the clean-up, including the grim task of disposing of livestock.
At the height of COVID, when border closures were wreaking havoc on our primary industries, former ADF personnel swapped the tanks for tractors, to help farmers harvest bumper crops.
During our own COVID outbreak last year, the ADF were here, supporting people in isolation and getting vaccines in people’s arms. In doing so, they saved lives.
And since early last year, ADF personnel have been on the ground in some of our most flood-affected communities, filling and distributing sand bags, building levees, and helping with evacuations, rescues, transport and logistics, and the clean-up.
So this Remembrance Day, let us pause, reflect and remember those brave men and women who have served our country in years gone by.
Let us pause, reflect, and remember the ones who never came home.
Let us pause, reflect, and remember the men and women around the world, currently serving and working to protect the freedoms we hold so dear.
But let us also pause, reflect and remember the outstanding men and who are right now helping everyday Australians right here on home soil, as we deal with yet another natural disaster.
Thank you to all of those who have served and continue to serve, and those who work to preserve their memories. We live in the best country in the world, and we have these men and women, and their families, to thank for it.
Lest We Forget.