Remembrance day: 100 years on, Australians commemorate the guns falling silent | Australia news


Australians will pause on Sunday – at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – to commemorate the guns falling silent to end world war one, 100 years ago.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, and the opposition leader, Bill Shorten, will address crowds at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on Sunday morning.

Musicians John Schumann and Lee Kernaghan are expected to perform as part of the national ceremony.

The veterans affairs minister, Darren Chester, is also due to attend a service at Villers-Bretonneux in France.

The deaths of almost 62,000 Australians in the first world war cast a dark shadow for decades. They were husbands and fathers, brothers and sons who fell on the battlefields a world away. For the tens of thousands who survived to return home, many were scarred and broken from the horrors they witnessed and endured.

Australian troops played an important role in halting the German offensive at the French township on the western front during the war.

“Remembrance Day is a time for us as a nation to unite in a minute of solemn respect and admiration for those who served and died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations,” Chester said.

A beam of light was projected from the Australian War Memorial to Parliament House, from dusk to dawn on the eve of Armistice Day.

The colour changed from white to pink to red, and the beam symbolised the link between the difficult decisions made by politicians and the terrible consequences of war.

The names of Australia’s war dead were also projected on to the war memorial from sunset to sunrise.

Later on Sunday, there will be an evening vigil at the tomb of the unknown soldier, marking 25 years since he was laid to rest in Canberra.

In Victoria, the premier and the opposition leader are expected to suspend their election campaigning.

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