PM pays respects to Australia’s fallen soldiers
(See translation in Arabic section)
Sydney - Middle East Times Int’l: Prime Minister Anthony Albanese delivered a speech at a Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on Monday. The following is an edited extract of that speech.
In this solemn place, we gather in tranquillity, acknowledging that peace is not a given. Across the world, many are tragically bereft of it at this very moment. We, however, do not take peace for granted. The tranquillity enveloping us today is a gift from generations of Australians who bore arms in our name, a peace now shared with the sacred grounds where so many of them laid down their lives.
These grounds extend from beaches where the waves echo in the sea’s perpetual rhythm to meadows adorned with flowers and birdsong. Little betrays the past horrors of killing fields, but these places are etched in our hearts. Mud and dust, jungle and ocean cradled the bodies of young Australians sent in our name.
We remember them, not just for their extraordinary courage, though there were moments when that courage seemed almost beyond comprehension. We also remember their fear -- fear experienced by young Australians far from home, confronting the unimaginable as it turned into stark reality. Their deeds were extraordinary, yet they were human beings of flesh and blood.
This remembrance extends to all who served in our name and continues with those who serve today. They include the multitudes cast into the ranks of the unknown soldier, torn from life.
War’s narrative is often painted on a grand canvas of generals, battles, leaders, and campaigns. The fallen are drawn together in a haze of numbers, framed in the rhetoric of nobility and sacrifice. Personal realms of life, love, and loss are captured in the stark eloquence of a broken heart.
We congregate amidst names arranged in constellations of grief that never fade or set. All who went in our name and never returned, those who returned but couldn’t escape the shadow of what they witnessed, and those forever guided by a belief in the indomitable best of humanity after witnessing its worst.
We’ve witnessed the horrors Australians have overcome and the impact they’ve made in the world and continue to make. Gratitude is extended to all serving members of the Australian Defence Force and to all veterans. Just as they stood up for us, we must stand for them.
As we await the sunset, we express gratitude and pay tribute to them all. In moments when the light seemed distant, it is because of them that only nightfall can ever envelop us in darkness.
Lest we forget.