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Grey clouds build as Central Queensland remembers diggers

Sunday is a day to remember fallen Diggers at Remembrance Day ceremonies. The Flanders Poppy as red poppies were among the first plants to spring up in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium.
Sunday is a day to remember fallen Diggers at Remembrance Day ceremonies. The Flanders Poppy as red poppies were among the first plants to spring up in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium. Georja Ryan

IT'S never easy to silence school children, but there's one event which silences millions.

Grey clouds may be building over Central Queensland, but at 11am, thousands of Queenslanders will lower their heads and hush for just one minute at more than 130 Remembrance Day services across the state.

But students at Allenstown State School marked the moment early on Friday, joining in a World Record Attempt to have the most children reading at one time.

The students participated in the national 'Read2Remember' event which aimed to have students from all over Australia read a Remembrance Day poem at 11am on Friday.

The poem was Queensland poet Rupert McCall's 'Pledge of Remembrance'.

Before the reading, children also spent time learning about the significance of Remembrance Day by viewing displays from the CQ Military and Artefacts Museum.

Isobel Thwaite, Theo Fourie and Rebecca Johnson from Allenstown State School look at rememberance display Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Isobel Thwaite, Theo Fourie and Rebecca Johnson from Allenstown State School look at rememberance display Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

Remembrance Day pays tributes to the ANZACs who have died or suffered through wars, conflicts and peace keeping operations around the world.

RSL Queensland CEO Chris McHugh said it was particularly important this year to remember the seven Australian soldiers killed while on duty in 2012.

"In the past decade, 39 Australian Defence Force personnel aged from 21 to 41 have been killed on duty in Afghanistan," Mr McHugh said.

"More than 240 other soldiers and sailors have suffered amputations, fractures, gunshot wounds, hearing loss or brain injury.

"While their losses cannot be remedied, we can honour their sacrifices by ensuring that their mission and their families are not forgotten or neglected."

The Australian Minister for Veterans' Affairs Warren Snowdon also urged Australians to support the RSL Poppy Day Appeal by wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day.

The Poppy Appeal raises funds to help current and former serving personnel and their families in times of crisis, illness or distress.

"On the eve of Remembrance Day 2012, 94 years after the guns fell silent on the Western Front, it is important that we remember the more than 60,000 Australians who died in World War I, those who have died since and those who continue to risk their lives in the service of our nation," Mr Snowdon said on Friday.

The red Flanders Poppy was among the first plants to grow on the battlefields of the First World War following the conflict.

Mr Snowdon urged Australians to support the RSL's Poppy Day Appeal and wear a poppy on Remembrance Day. .

ROCKHAMPTON SERVICES

A service will be held at 11am at the John Leak Memorial on Huish Drive opposite Victoria Park.

The community is invited to a service at Gracemere & District RSL Cenotaph in James St, Gracemere from 10.35am.

PLEDGE OF REMEMBRANCE - By Rupert McCall

The Australian soldier grows not old, the flame still lights his eyesAlthough his body lays to rest, his flag forever fliesOn the green and gold horizon where the wattles sweep and swayIt flies amongst the gardens and the classrooms of today

Over ocean streams and backyard dreams, above the sunburnt plainThrough harvest yields, on sporting fields, in rainbows after rainIt defines a life worth living and a day that must be wonFor every father's daughter and for every mother's son

But more than that, the honour claimed in fighting for the freeThe pride of the Australian soldier burns in you and meWhen the night is dark and dangerous with the rumble of the stormHis courage calls the sunrise and his spirit makes it warm

We will not forget their sacrifice - the strength of their endeavourFor the choices we are gifted with, that flame will burn foreverWith a smile that lights the future shining brightly in our scopeWe will stand as one, together - we will carry on with hope

But as we go, we take the words that rightfully belong

"I am young and I am worthy, I am brave and I am strongIn the face of any challenge, I will strive to rise aboveI deserve this opportunity to live, to learn, to loveI can truly make a difference; my path is up to meAnd this is my commitment - be the best that I can be."


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