Remembrance Day honours the dead of all wars

REMEMBRANCE Day came into being largely because the war that was supposed to end all wars failed to do so.

It started out as Armistice Day, to mark the occasion, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, on which the First World War came to an end.

A look at Gympie's Memorial Gates in Mary St tells a story of death on a scale unequalled by any conflict since, but it also shows how wars have become a part of our experience.

Vietnam veteran Ivan Friske and believes the lower death toll in the Second World War may have been due to improved medical technologies, including antibiotics and blood transfusions.

Gympie RSL sub branch president Frank Bontoft said the occasion we will mark at 11am today grew out of the original commemoration of Armistice Day, at the end of the First World War.

Today's commemorations throughout the Gympie region still mark the 97th anniversary of the end of the Great War, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Mr Bontoft said that although the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing was the big commemoration this year, the war still had more than three years to run after Gallipoli.

"Some of the most fierce battles of this war still had not occurred.

"By the 11th November 1918 between nine and thirteen million solders had died, many with no known grave.

"This year marks the 97th Anniversary of the Armistice which ended World War One.

"On the anniversary to the Armistice in 1919 two minutes silence was instituted in London with King George V. After World War Two the Australian and British Governments changed the name to Remembrance Day.

"In 1997 Governor General Sir William Deane issued a proclamation declaring November 11 to be Remembrance Day and to be observed at 11am with one minute's silence to remember all those who died or suffered for Australia's cause in all wars and armed conflicts," Mr Bontoft said yesterday.

Remembrance Day will be commemorated at the Gympie Cenotaph and Kenilworth Memorial from 10.30am and at War Memorial Triangle, Tewantin, Imbil Memorial Park, Kilkivan Memorial Park, Tiaro Memorial Gardens, Tin Can Bay Memorial Park and Rainbow Beach cenotaph from 10.45am.

Gympie Times

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