Ella Hide

November 11 is an important day for remembering.

We remember those who fought and died for us at war, the extraordinary qualities they possessed, and we understand the importance of retaining those qualities in the character of our nation. Wearing red poppies on this day has special significance for Australians. We wear the first flower to bloom on the battlefields of northern France and Belgium after the First World War to reflect on the unsung heroes of our nation’s history. We wear red poppies to remember those who fought and sacrificed their lives for our freedoms and liberties, and to keep this memory sacred. Wearing the red poppy also commemorates the bond between our allied nations in respect of our common battle ground. We remember on this day, through symbolism and silence, the true heroes that demonstrated the qualities that have come to shape our nation as it stands today.

It is important that we remember. That we reflect, acknowledge and contribute to the eternal gratefulness we have for the true heroes of Australia. The shear brutality of war simultaneously highlights the extraordinary acts of heroism, stoicism and bravery that underpin the character of our nation. This is why it is important to remember. We must reflect on what it means to be Australian. What it means to be a good mate, to sacrifice, have ambition and an unwavering dedication to the future of Australia. By wearing a red poppy, we show that we remember the heroism that should inspire our current young generations to better our nation.

North Shore local, Saskia Hartog, says that “it is important to remember what others have sacrificed for us, so that we don’t take anything for granted”.

Wearing a red poppy on Remembrance Day is a reminder that we should embody the spirit of every soldier that has scarified his or her life for the betterment of ours.

Remembrance Day reminds us that we should honour the memory of all fallen soldiers by emulating their character in times of both conflict and peace. That we should approach life’s challenges life with their courage and compassion and to live with their strength and determination. By doing so, we truly remember. Our national voice and national pride has been founded on the characteristics shown by our soldiers; the characteristics we remember each year on this day and on ANZAC Day. Remembering these attributes serves to remind us of how we can carry this eternal memory of our historical heroes, by emulating their characteristics and making them the binding elements of our identity as Australians.

So this year, we wear our red poppies once more, and we can reflect on what it means to be an Australian today, having had so many men and women sacrifice their lives for our freedoms.