Outside the bitter confines of Parliament, Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten put aside their differences to honour Australians killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The prime minister and the opposition leader stood side by side during the Last Post ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on Tuesday.
The solemn memorial came amid a climate of ongoing tension in the nation’s capital, where hours earlier Mr Shorten had ratcheted up pressure on Mr Morrison over why he replaced Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister.
The ceremony honoured defence widows, family members of those serving and marked the 17th anniversary of the New York and Washington terrorist attacks.
The attacks killed 2996 people, including 11 Australians, and injured more than 6000 others.
Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson said looking at the names of men on the Afghanistan honour roll turned his mind to women.
“So many of the women that are here have worn the burden of the decisions made by our governments to send Australians in war, peace, humanitarian and disaster relief,” Dr Nelson said.
He said on the anniversary of events that changed the world, it was important to remember not only serving women, but partners of men returning from bloody battlefields.
Others in attendance included Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne, Senior Labor frontbencher Penny Wong and the deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek.