A giant poppy looms over Woden

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A LARGE Remembrance Day poppy will light up the windows of the top floors of Lovett Tower in Woden over the next few days to honour the more than 102,000 Australian service personnel who have died in wars and armed conflicts.

“The Flanders poppy has long been associated with commemorating Remembrance Day,” the Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Simon Lewis, said.

“During the First World War, red poppies were among the first plants to spring up in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium.

“In this Anzac Centenary year, DVA continues to put considerable effort into educating Australians about our military history and encouraging communities to acknowledge and commemorate the service and sacrifice of all those men and women who have worn our nation’s uniform.

“In Canberra, DVA’s Remembrance Day commemorations include the Lovett Tower poppy installation, which will be on display every evening from now until 12 November.”

Mr Lewis said that for more than 40 years, DVA and the Repatriation Commission had served Australia’s veterans from its Canberra headquarters in Lovett Tower.

“DVA’s headquarters will move to the city in January 2016, so it is fitting that we mark the last official commemoration of the year and the end of an era for the department with a special tribute.”

At 11:00 am on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns on the Western Front fell silent, and the First World War was over. On the first anniversary of the armistice in 1919, on what was then known as Armistice Day, two minutes of silence were observed at the 11th hour to remember those who had died in the war.

“Each year, around the world, this tradition continues. On Remembrance Day 2015 in Canberra, I hope the poppy installation will encourage more members of the community, especially younger Australians, to reflect on the sacrifice of those who died for our nation and to observe this tradition,” Mr Lewis said.

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