Today I was honoured to speak at Loyalty Square at the foot of the Balmain War Memorial in commemoration of Remembrance Day and the 99th Anniversary of the end of World War One.
It is on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month that our entire nation takes pause to recognise the valiant efforts of those who died or were injured serving our country in the line of duty.
This day resonates throughout our nation, as every town in Australia has its own personal connection to the terrible conflicts of war.
Innumerable local lives were lost in Balmain, like that of 37 year old Robert Henry Appleby, a widowed boilermaker from East Balmain, and 24 year old Michael Buchanan born in Rozelle, a butcher’s apprentice with a young wife, Lucy.
These two lost soldiers enlisted in World War One, in 1915 and 1916 respectively.
We remember Robert and Michael, and we reflect on all of those men and women whose selflessness and sacrifice, secured our future as a democratic nation.