Moree East Public School commemorated Remembrance Day with a special service on Wednesday morning as part of their 100 years of Anzacs commemorations.
Members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) were the special guests at Wednesday’s service which marked the 100th anniversary since the end of World War I, on November 11, 1918.
RAAF squadron leader Sam Wright spoke during the service, asking the children why we still acknowledge Remembrance Day, 100 years since the end of WWI.
“Think about why it was such a huge deal to the people of the time,” he said.
“Australia had a population of four million people – basically only the people in Sydney today. In World War I, 400,000 people, or one tenth of the population, fought. And almost half of those were either injured or killed. A huge proportion of the country was involved and potentially didn’t come back at the end of it.
“I visit a lot of small towns in my job and every single town has a cenotaph. I’m always amazed at how many names are on it.
“To put it in perspective, there were only a couple of thousand people in Moree then. Fifteen hundred people, almost half the population left to war. Two hundred never came home.
“We commemorate Remembrance Day to remember what happened all those years ago.”
Moree RSL sub-branch representative John Tramby also spoke of the significance of Remembrance Day.
“One hundred years ago, the Great War finally came to an end,” he said.
“It was the end of a terrible conflict that involved the whole world.
“At 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month is when the guns ceased to fire.
“Armies went back to their families – those who could go back. Hundreds of thousands of men and women did not return.
“For that minute at 11am we pause and remember those thousands of men and women who didn’t go back to their families.
“We pause to remember those sacrifices made on our behalf.”
The RAAF presented the school with two commemorative coins to mark their visit. They also brought a hot air balloon with them and were hoping to give students a hot air balloon experience, however the weather prevented this from happening.
Instead, the children played games with a parachute to commemorate the day and the RAAF’s visit. Students also enjoyed a barbecue, jumping castle, games and craft with the sisters group.