Saturday, 15 November 2014

Remembrance Day 2014 - some thoughts

Wreaths at Bayswater RSL
This year I attended the Remembrance Day service at Bayswater RSL. As it was a school day children from Bayswater Primary School were seated on the lawn when I arrived. They were soon joined by adults who either sat on the chairs provided or stood on the footpath near Mountain Highway. During the service wreaths were laid in memory of conflicts in which Australians have served. The local members of the State Parliament and Federal Parliament also laid wreaths. The school choir sang two songs and at the end of the service each child put a poppy near the wreaths.
Talking to a friend afterwards, she said that when she had been at Bayswater earlier in the morning she noticed that she was the only person wearing a poppy. Later at Knox City the lady who served us at the chicken shop remarked that we were the first customers she had seen wearing poppies. She was wearing a poppy. She also told us that she was disappointed that there had been no observance for Remembrance Day at the shopping centre. In previous years there had always been an announcement for those who wanted to observe Remembrance Day. Now that Westfields has taken over the shopping centre, this practice has been discontinued. We had purchased our poppies outside the supermarket two weeks before. However as we shopped I saw probably only half a dozen other people wearing poppies.

The schools obviously still observe the day. A school we pass on the way to the gym had a notice on their notice board about their observance of the day. Unfortunately Remembrance had been spelt incorrectly but they immediately amended this when I sent them an email. The gym we go to uses the P A system to ask members to observe a minute of silence at 11 am on 11 November. I am sure that other organisations also do this. However generally there appears to have been less notice taken of the day by much of the population. It would be a pity if we become too busy to give up a few minutes of our time once a year to remember those who have died during wars. The lady who pushed through the people standing to sing the national anthem at the Bayswater RSL service was hopefully part of the minority and not a symbol of general apathy in the community.

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