'My mother was devastated by the loss': Remembrance Day in Sydney

The stirring sound of the bagpipes in Martin Place at 9.22am was the first reminder for those hurrying to work that it was Remembrance Day.

Raising of the Australian flags in bright sunshine either side of the Cenotaph set the scene as the rows of white seating in the shade began to fill up.

There will be another reminder of those who made the ultimate sacrifice on Monday night when images of poppies are projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

The Remembrance Day Service at Martin Place Cenotaph on Monday.

Master of ceremonies Gareth McCray prompted applause when he made special mention of firefighters and all those affected by the bushfires.

As you would expect a great degree of protocol surrounds the Remembrance Day service.

First to lay a wreath of native flowers was NSW Governor Margaret Beazley - her first Remembrance Day service since taking up office in May.

War has touched her family - she is the niece of a bomber command airman killed in 1944.

Next, and together, came Premier Gladys Berejiklian (carrying more native flowers) and Prime Minister Scott Morrison with yellow roses.

Opposition Leader Jodi McKay laid a wreath with her federal colleague Tanya Plibersek.

Then came lord mayor of Sydney Clover Moore and dignitaries representing the defence forces and, perhaps appropriately with the catastrophic fire warnings, the emergency services.

The flags just managed a slight flutter as the crowd observed one minute’s silence at 11am.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison attends the Remembrance Day service at Martin Place on Monday.

Whether by design or coincidence no trams being tested along George Street passed by to break the silence.

Remembrance Day has special significance for Annette Guterres attending in her capacity as secretary of the Bomber Command Association in Australia.

She said her uncle Edward Leake, 22, was killed along with five others on the 11th of the 11th 1944 when his bomber aircraft was shot down over Germany.

“They had turned to come home when a fighter aircraft came up underneath them and hit them and their plane just blew apart. My mother was devastated by the loss,” Ms Guterres said.

This year it is possible to purchase a poppy using a credit card or phone.

Emily Allen from Cambridge in the UK who paid with a card said she was remembering her grandparents who served in World War II.

Then with a prayer and the national anthem the catafalque party dismounted the Cenotaph and it was all over.

For another year we have remembered them.


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