When I came to Canberra for the weekend, I wanted to do three things – see the original Long Tan Cross, catch up with John Snare, my Platoon Commander in Vietnam and attend the Remembrance Day service at the Australian War Memorial. This morning, we attended the Rembrancd Day Service.
One of the highlights was the parade of the Australian Federation Guard – a combination of Army, Air Force and Navy Personnel with excellent drill. I can say that it would have been a far better performance than that of our day. They were backed up by the band from Duntroon who provided excellent musical support.
The main difference between this service here and those in the state capitals is the attendance of senior military and diplomatic representatives. For example. the service was attended by the Governor General and the Prime Minister. The address was given by the Head of the Australian Military and wreaths were laid by about 50 Ambassadors of countries ranging from Kuwait to Singapore. A very touching part was the large number of school children from all over Australia who laid poppies on the memorial.
It was a lovely sunny day – not too hot, but nor was it chilly. We found s good position along the fence behind the seated area. I’m glad that I had a hat to wear, the only problem was understanding the protocol of when it should be removed such as during the minute’s silence and the playing of the National Anthem.