Community observes silence in honour of fallen heroes

Ex-servicemen Bernie Joss, of Secret Harbour, and Bob Mashford, of East Waikiki, take the time to remember fallen soldiers at the Remembrance Day service at Veterans Park, Port Kennedy.

As the wreaths were laid, poppies distributed and sombre greetings exchanged, the clock struck 11 and the people of Port Kennedy remembered the sacrifices of the men and women over 99 years since the beginning of WWI.

Marking the 95th anniversary of the Armistice, although no diggers who fought gallantly in WWI were alive, Monday’s Remembrance Day service was a time for their friends and family to commemorate their memory and other fallen soldiers since then.

Also being remembered were two brave servicemen who had lost their lives in the past 13 months in Afghanistan.

Ex-serviceman and Vietnam veteran Bernie Joss of Secret Harbour said the memorial service at Veterans Park was an opportunity to take the time to reflect on those who never came back and the families who lost loved ones overseas.

Mr Joss said it was important to remember all conflicts and the service-people who were dealt the supreme sacrifice for serving their country.

“Vietnam was a traumatic war, and it’s never far away from you... it takes its toll and there were a lot of veterans who never got past it,” he said.

There were good times too, which Mr Joss said he remembered fondly, such as having a few beers with the boys after work.

“You don’t see the camaraderie and passion anywhere else outside the military... when you’re relying on another bloke completely, you become mates for life,” he said.

Warnbro MLA Paul Papalia, who attended the memorial along with about 60 other people, students from Endeavour Primary School, said the sense of duty, honour and responsibility of the WWI diggers was still as relevant as it ever was.

After speeches and an emotional wreath-laying ceremony took place, the Australian and New Zealand national anthems were played, following a one-minute silence and bugle music, ending with a single gun fire.

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