Bright red poppies have lit up the Sydney Opera House sails at dawn in a starkly beautiful reminder of all we owe our service men and women – past and present.
Minister for Veterans Natalie Ward said Remembrance Day honoured all Australians who have served their country, with some making the ultimate sacrifice.
“The sight of the dawn light, the red poppies illuminated onto the Opera House sails and the sound of a bugler playing The Last Post is a stirring image and a fitting tribute to those we remember today,” Mrs Ward said.
“For more than a century, our veterans have been making profound sacrifices for their country. In particular this year I want to recognise those who served in Afghanistan.”
Poppies are worn on 11 November as a mark of respect and recognition, with the flowers symbolising the end of fighting in World War One. Poppies have been projected onto the Opera House since 2014. Those who missed the dawn display will have a second chance to view it after sun-down, between 8-11pm.
Mrs Ward was joined this morning by RSL NSW President Ray James, who recited The Ode at dawn, and RSL Australia Ambassador and Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran, Pete Rudland.
“Today we remember Australians who gave their lives in service to our country in wars and conflicts around the world,” Mr James said.
“We will remember those who have come home injured or ill, in body or spirit, and remember those who bravely serve our country today.”
The NSW Office for Veterans Affairs has distributed a resource pack to schools throughout the state for students to make paper poppies. The State’s official Remembrance Day Service will be held at the Cenotaph in Martin Place from 10:30am today, and live-streamed via Remembrance Day 2021.
Applications for the second round of the Community War Memorials Fund also open today, with $125,000 available to upgrade memorials across NSW.