HUNDREDS of community members gathered at Horsham’s Sawyer Park on Sunday morning to remember and honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
This year’s Remembrance Day service was especially significant as it marked 100 years since the First World War officially ended at 11am on November 11, 1918.
Horsham RSL’s David Eltringham was the MC for the service and reiterated the importance of remembering those who served.
“In 1914, our nation of five million people contributed to this war and by 1918 we had given much in blood. But Australia had entered the world stage,” he said.
“The world knew that we made a significant contribution and that we, as Australians, had a significant voice on the world stage to follow on.
“Those 300,000 men and women who served overseas during this conflict, and the 62,000 who gave their lives, their legacy was to found the values that we all respect and acknowledge today as being Australian. Being Australian was forged during that period of time.
“This community of Horsham and District gave 463 of our best, and those names are recorded here at the Horsham Cenotaph. There are many families here today who would have a direct connection to those lives, but we all have a connection to the First World War.”
St Brigid’s College student Rachel Kemp recited the poem Flanders’ Fields, while Horsham College student Johan Smith recited The Answer. Community groups, organisations and individuals from across the Horsham region then took time to lay wreaths at the Horsham Cenotaph.
Horsham RSL senior vice president Don Pirouet gave The Ode, which was then followed by Horsham City Brass Band member Jo Ellis performing The Last Post.
One Minute of Silence followed coinciding with the Horsham Fire Siren sounding at the start and end.
Newly appointed Horsham Rural City Mayor Mark Radford gave a reflection on Vignacourt France. Cr Radford was joined by Mr Pirouet and Horsham Military History and Heritage committee member Sally Bertram to lay a wreath at the Vignacourt Tree.
Students of Horsham College’s choir sung both the French and Australian National Anthems.
The service concluded with community members placing a single poppy at the numerous war memorials at the Horsham Cenotaph, including the new First World War memorial.
A second service will be held at ANZAC Bridge, Horsham at sunset. The evening will include a reading of The Ode and The Last Post.