A Remembrance Day service was held in Walcha at the Anzac Memorial Park this morning, and the crowd was bolstered by a contingent from the Tia Union Church centenary celebrations and the fact that the day fell on a Saturday.
At 10.30am, current Service members, Ex-Service members and descendants wearing family medals gathered to form a parade, on the Hill Street footpath near the entrance gates to the park.
At 10.45am Piper Mitch Crawford marched the parade to the assembly ground in front of the cenotaph for the commencement of the service.
Flight Sergeant Stephen Medaris from the RAAF played the bugle for The Last Post.
The Sing Australia Walcha Group sang and Rev Ben France gave the prayers.
Special guest Major William Norton OAM, RAA, retd., gave the address. Major Norton spoke about the great sacrifice and decimation of the servicemen and women in the past, asking us to question if we are doing enough to support the family and dependents of those who were lost and those who survived.
“On this 2017 Remembrance Day we give our deep appreciation and respect for Australia’s magnificent warriors killed and maimed on our behalf on the battlefield, in the air and at sea,” he said.
“We equally acknowledge the surviving veterans, particularly those who struggle with the ongoing effects of physical and psychological trauma. Perhaps we have allowed the government to lean far too heavily on charities such as the RSL, Legacy and others.
“Are we doing enough to repay our debt to these living ex-servicemen or women and their dependents? I suggest no soldier or airman, or sailor killed in action would have supported an expensive edifice to themselves in lieu of fundamental government services and community support for his or her surviving spouse and children.”