Remembrance Day crowds to return in Qld

·2-min read

As Australians prepare to mark Remembrance Day, Queensland veterans and their families are preparing to commemorate it together for the first time in almost two years.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the country in February 2020, commemorations have been forced to limit numbers or stream services online due to restrictions.

But this week Queensland servicemen and women, and their families, will again gather in person to commemorate their dead comrades and relatives.

"There are not too many families in this in this country that are not impacted by somebody that has served, whether it be a great grandfather, a great uncle, a father, a mother, whatever the case may be," RSL Queensland president Tony Ferris told AAP.

"The very important factor about Remembrance Day is that is that opportunity when those that have served this country come back - they're with family they can commemorate being a family unit again.

"But family serve at the same time as service people do as well, so Remembrance Day is very important for that fact."

Mr Ferris said Remembrance Day remains important despite the growing popularity on Anzac Day because they signify different things.

Remembrance Day is intended for people to reflect on the end of conflicts, he said, while Anzac Day is to show gratitude for the work of the armed forces around the world.

The Queensland RSL president says the two days also remind current and former servicemen and women that their fellow Australians support them.

For Paralympian and Afghanistan veteran Curtis McGrath, Remembrance Day helps foster a connection between all of Australia's wartime allies and that it also offers Australians an opportunity to take a moment to commemorate war casualties and those serving in other countries.

"It's really important to remember that it's not just New Zealand and Australian soldiers going out there and fighting, there's a whole other contingent side of our conflict that is sometimes gets a little bit forgotten," he told AAP.

"It is a remarkable day and it's special because it's the coming of home and the finish of our conflict or our service in an international sense.

"If we can do this together, it just shows that it is not forgotten at all. It's one of those moments that is significant for sure."

When the clock strikes 11 on Thursday morning, Mr Ferris has one message for Australians around the country.

"Just stop and have a minute to remember," he said.

"Don't be frightened to ask the question of somebody you know who has served, and whether there's anything we can do and if they're OK.

"It's very important to do that so they know we're there for them."

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