Beaudesert paused in sombre reflection at its 2022 Remembrance Day commemorations.
More photos at end of story, below
In his welcome address, Beaudesert RSL Sub-Branch President Jon Forbe-Smith reflected on the meaning of service.
“When a young man or young woman signs on to join Australia’s Defence Force, they give their country a blank cheque, for an amount up to and including their life. That is an honour,” he said.
“Sometimes, sadly, that cheque is payable in full. In banking terms, the cheque is ‘honoured’. Today, we honour those who have paid that ultimate price and lost their lives in the defence of both our nation and our way of life.
“We enjoy a lifestyle that people in many other countries do not. We have a freedom of expression and a freedom to associate, travel and communicate as we choose. We consider this as our right, and it is, but had it not been for the selfless duty of so many of our Defence Force men and women, things might today be very different.
“I ask all of you to REFLECT for one minute, one minute out of a year, on those 102,000 men and women, over the past 100 years, without whose sacrifice of their lives, may have meant that we would be living in a far different and authoritarian country, than which we today enjoy.”
Mr Forbe-Smith spoke about the meaning of supreme sacrifice.
“I could not bear the thought of losing a child to battle, but so many mothers and fathers have,” he said.
“You may have noticed that returned servicemen place their right hand like this.
They do not place their hand over their heart or their breast. It is not a foreign salute. They cover their medals which they have earned and richly deserve, but no matter what honours they may have been awarded, these honours pale in comparison to the honour due to those who paid the supreme sacrifice.
“In the 4th Century BC, Demosthenes claimed, ‘The price of liberty is eternal vigilance’. That is as true today as it was nearly two and a half thousand years ago.”