Sunday 11th November is a very special day.
It’s the centenary of the day that World War I ended – a war which claimed the lives of an unbelievable 15 million to 20 million people.
This Sunday 11th November deserves extra special recognition.
100 years ago, locals spontaneously and joyously celebrated the return of peace. They prayed that the conflict that had just ended would be ‘the war to end all wars’ and the lives of the 61,700 Australians who had died (including 200 from the NSW South Coast) would not have been needlessly lost.
A year later King George V asked Australians to simply pause for two minutes at 11am on every 11th November – for one minute to honour those who fought and were killed in the War and for one minute to honour the wives, the children, the families in Australia that had been equally deeply affected by the conflict.
He specifically asked that "all locomotion should cease, so that, in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance" of the suffering that this war had caused.
It would be appropriate for all locals to again pause at 11am this Sunday 11th November, to honour all Australians who have fought for our country, to remember the impact that their service has had on those left at home, and to reflect on the immense benefits that peace has brought to our country and this area.
Remembrance Day gatherings are being held all along the South Coast. I urge everyone who can possibly attend their local event to do so. I also urge those who are unable to attend to at least recognise this important 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice by simply pausing for a minute or two at 11am, and to join our community in again observing this significant 100-year-old tradition of reflective silence.
President, South Coast History Society
(Peter is delivering the official Remembrance Day address at the Bega War Memorial gathering at 11am on November 11th, and is then talking on the topic 'So, how did the Great War affect this area - during the War and after the War' at the free 'Remembering the Great War 1914 - 1918' afternoon on 11th November at the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club.)