Tuesday 23 November 2021 Cr Geoff Lovett
Published on 23 November 2021
Recently, I had the pleasure of representing the Mayor at Maryborough’s Remembrance Day service.
At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1919, the guns of war fell silent. Bringing to an end four years of bloody conflict. Historians believe this time saw the emergence of a new nation, and the beginning of the Anzac Legend.
Remembrance Day is not about the glorification of war, quite the opposite. At 11am a minutes silence is observed, to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in all wars and conflicts, fighting to protect our nation and way of life.
The symbol of Remembrance Day, the red poppy, grew wild in northern France and Flanders where war raged. They are forever immortalised in the poem ‘In Flanders Field’, written by a Canadian soldier whilst on the battleground.
The poppy came to represent the immeasurable impact on countless families through the ultimate sacrifice of war. War created the perfect conditions for the poppies to flourish in Flanders Fields. The constant bombardment disturbed the soil, bringing the seeds to the surface. For weeks, the fields were entirely covered with Flanders poppies.
An interesting side note is today, the poppies are disappearing due to dramatic changes in the plants’ habitat over the last 100 years. As I looked around the assembled crowd, I saw men and women who had lived through wars and conflicts, RSL members, Vietnam Vets, Red Cross, Legacy, along with members of our community who had come to pay their respect.
However, most gratifying of all were the number of school children in their MEC and Highview uniforms, not only in attendance, but participating in the service. It is vitally important that children today fully understand the history of Australia, and the sacrifices that have been made.