NOT FORGOTTEN: Veterans gather to honour sacrifice and freedom
THERE’S nothing more Australian than a barbecue and that’s exactly how many veterans in the Bundaberg region came together to commemorate Remembrance Day.
Local veterans, young and old, gathered in Anzac Park this morning for a Remembrance Day service to pay their respects to those who served and died for their country.
It was the first time locals could gather to remember the Diggers after Covid-19 restrictions on Anzac Day saw many hold driveway Dawn Services.
As the last post was played during the service, the bells of Christ Church could be heard ringing over Bundaberg marking the anniversary of the armistice on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month.
President of the Bundaberg RSL sub-branch Graham Crowden said it was fantastic to see the veterans join the commemorations.
“It’s an inkling of freedom for all of us, and we’re happy to have as many people here as we’ve had,” he said.
“Our charter is commemorations, to keep things alive to ensure the youth of today and tomorrow remember how their freedom was won and for those who lost their lives as a result of gaining that freedom.”
Mr Crowden said Bundaberg had a strong veteran community.
Service attendees praised the organisers for their efforts to bring people together while keeping everyone safe.
World War II veteran Noel Mooney said it was good to see people come together.
“It’s wonderful,” he said.
Former navy cook Ron Kneebone said he commemorated Remembrance Day every year.
“We do it every year to remember those who didn’t come home,” he said.
“It’s nice to see everyone make the effort.”
While this year the usual Remembrance Day luncheon couldn’t take place, the Bundaberg North Lions Club came on board with a barbecue lunch.
Mr Crowden said it had been a tough year for our elderly veterans.
“We have a large group of vulnerable and aged members in our veteran community, as a result of the covid restrictions, the fear associated with that and their vulnerability they are frightened to come out,” he said.
“As an RSL sub-branch and being responsible for veteran welfare, we try to make every effort to contact those people fairly regularly.”