Each year, on 11 November at 11:00am, Australia pauses for a minute of remembrance. In silent solidarity, we stand together for all those who served and died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
Originally known as Armistice Day, 11 November marked the day the guns fell silent on the Western Front, marking the end of the First World War. However, just 20 years later Australia was at war again, in the largest global conflict of the 20th Century – the Second World War.
It was after the Second World War that 11 November became known as Remembrance Day in commemoration of those who were killed in both world wars, and now all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
While this is an uncertain time, Australians are encouraged to continue to mark this significant day, ensuring their commemorations comply with the latest health advice. There is a range of remarkable resources online, which you can use to plan a personal commemoration. One of these is our Anzac Portal: anzacportal.dva.gov.au.
There you will find the free-to-download resources from the 2020 Remembrance Day mail-out. The resources are designed to help you commemorate in your own community, and teach the next generation about the importance of 11 November. This year’s resources focus on the Second World War, and include the latest publication in our Century of Service series – Patriotism.
If you are planning a local service, you might also like to explore the Event Planning page. This includes a draft Order of Service, commemorative music, prayers and poems for free download, and suggestions for suitable speeches. You can adapt this material to suit your needs.
On 11 November 2020, the Australian War Memorial will hold a nationally televised Remembrance Day commemorative event. In light of the restrictions resulting from the pandemic, the format of the ceremony has been altered to ensure it complies with COVID-safe rules and will be attended by a limited number of invited guests. It will be broadcast live across Australia by the ABC and available later on ABC iview.
As always, the service will include the laying of wreaths and a minute’s silence on the eleventh hour.
More information about the 2020 Remembrance Day commemorative event will be forthcoming on the Australian War Memorial website at www.awm.gov.au.
We are also encouraging Australians to continue to share their stories of a serving relative on social media by using the hashtag #OneInAMillion. Just take a photo either of yourself holding a photo or the memorabilia of a serving relative, or with them if possible. By sharing their story, we as a community can ensure the importance of this date and their story are remembered for generations to come.
We understand that this can be an emotional time for veterans and their families, if you need additional support during this time, call Open Arms 24/7 on 1800 011 046 or visit OpenArms.gov.au to find more about services available.