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‘We will remember them’: Australians pay respect to the fallen on Remembrance Day

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On 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Australians will pause once again to acknowledge Remembrance Day: the end of World War I.

Originally known as Armistice Day, November 11 has expanded over the years to solemnly remember all the fallen men and women who have lost their lives in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping efforts.

Acting Veterans Affairs Minister Geoff Lee stood side-by-side with the bugler and RSL NSW acting president Ray James as dozens of red poppies adorned the Sydney Opera House sails, reflecting into the harbour below for Remembrance Day 2020.

More than 60,000 Australians were killed fighting for their country. And today the nation pays tribute to those lost and to those who are still serving.

The Sydney Opera House was illuminated in poppies. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dylan Coker

Minister Lee described the moment the Opera House lit up as “spine tingling”.

“This morning was a great scene, the water was glassy, the sun was rising to the east and red poppies were projected onto the white sails of the Opera House in remembrance of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms,” he said.

READ MORE: Lest We Forget: Commemorating the Anzacs who fought beside Greeks in WWII

“It was a strong symbolic reminder of the service and sacrifice made over a century ago which gave us the freedom we enjoy today.”

Minister Lee said it is essential young Australians understand the significant of the day, so schools have been given activity packs for students to make poppies and create stories around those who have served at war.

Bugler Corporal Curtis Willcox, RSL NSW acting president Ray James and Acting Minister for Veterans Geoff Lee and during a special Remembrance Day Dawn Service to light the Opera House. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dylan Coker

“We want to encourage young people to understand the importance of our history and legacy of those who have served our country,” he said.

In Canberra, the Australian War Memorial’s ceremony will be televised nationally and retain traditional elements such as the minute’s silence, laying of wreaths by invited dignitaries and sounding of the Last Post.

A one-off rule exemption has been granted in NSW to allow groups of up to 100 people to gather for services across the state including Sydney’s Martin Place.

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