News National Going virtual: Commemorating a Remembrance Day unlike any other

Going virtual: Commemorating a Remembrance Day unlike any other

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The Australian War Memorial is set to commemorate Remembrance Day with a nationally televised ceremony.

The event will be held at the Memorial in Canberra from 10.45am to midday on Wednesday, broadcast live on TV and streamed online.

Memorial director Matt Anderson PSM encouraged people to take the time to reflect on the day.

“At the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month each year, as a nation, we pause to contemplate the sacrifice of all who have died in the service of our nation,” Mr Anderson said in a statement.

The Wall of Remembrance at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra is closed. Photo: AAP

RSL NSW acting president Ray James said it would be “particularly meaningful” for the veteran community to see Remembrance Day gatherings take place after Anzac Day commemorations were cancelled.

The national Remembrance Day ceremony will retain traditional elements such as one minute’s silence at 11am, the laying of wreaths by invited dignitaries, the sounding of the Last Post, and a commemorative address by Corporal Daniel Keighran VC.

The Memorial will remain closed on Wednesday morning and will reopen at the conclusion of the national ceremony.

The Last Post ceremony will take place at 4.55pm and be streamed online.

The Memorial will host an evening opening of the Commemorative Area from 5.30pm until 7pm.

A rare insight into the struggles of Australian veterans

Australian veterans have shared their stories on Remembrance Day in a new podcast series.

Sydney-based indigenous man Colin Watego, 66, has retired from the army after 43 years of service.

His grandfather, two uncles and dad fought for Australia in World War II.

They enlisted despite not being recognised as citizens.

Mr Watego spoke of how his uncle and father went to a pub in uniform to drink to their brother, who was killed in battle in Egypt.

One was told to leave because he was “too dark”.

“We can only imagine what it’s like to, you know, put on a uniform and go to fight a war and put your life on the line and not be able to vote in your own country. How do you, how do you come to terms with that sort of thinking?”, Mr Watego said in a new podcast series My Life at War.

Marcia Halliday, from Cabarita, NSW, signed up to the Australian Army Medical Corps at the age of 18, against her mother’s wishes.

She was sent to Sydney’s Concord Hospital as a Medical Army Officer during WW2.

But, with no medical training, she said felt unable to treat the severely injured soldiers.

“I just, I suppose I wanted to show that I could do something on my own and I, didn’t realise what it entailed,” Ms Halliday, now 93, said in the podcast.

The trauma was considerable – especially with the arrival of returning Japanese Prisoners of War.

“They were carried off in stretchers and couldn’t walk. They were in a terrible state. That was a shock to all of us.”

The day the war ended, Ms Halliday said “everybody started screaming and dancing”.

“We screamed, and danced so long I didn’t have a voice left.”

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