Paul Keating’s Remembrance Day Address

This is the text and audio of former Prime Minister Paul Keating’s Remembrance Day Address at the Australian War Memorial.

Keating

The Address was delivered on the 20th anniversary of Keating’s speech at the Funeral Service of the Unknown Soldier. [Read more…]


Kevin Rudd’s Remembrance Day Address

This is the text of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Commemorative Address at the Remembrance Day Service, held at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

ANZAC Bridge StatueFellow Australians, friends of Australia, Veterans of Australia:

90 years ago today, the great guns fell silent.

After fours years of bloodshed, the battlefields were silent.

Great empires had been broken.

Millions, millions lay dead.

Among them, sixty thousand Australian heroes whose final resting place will forever be foreign soil.

And then there were the wounded a further one hundred and fifty thousand whose bodies and minds were to be forever scarred by the horrors of war.

And all this from a country of some four millions.

The scale of the carnage; the new ways of killing on an almost industrial scale; the tiny pieces of land over which so much blood was spilt; the sheer, stark horror of life and death in the trenches made all peoples hope that this could never happen again. [Read more…]


Paul Keating: Funeral Service Of The Unknown Australian Soldier

This is the text of a speech given by Prime Minister Paul Keating at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, on Remembrance Day, 1993.

  • Listen to Keating’s Speech (6m)

Text of Prime Minister Paul Keating’s speech at the Funeral Service of the Unknown Australian Soldier

Unknown Soldier SpeechWe do not know this Australian’s name and we never will. We do not know his rank or his battalion. We do not know where he was born, or precisely how and when he died. We do not know where in Australia he had made his home or when he left it for the battlefields of Europe. We do not know his age or his circumstances – whether he was from the city or the bush; what occupation he left to become a soldier; what religion, if he had a religion; if he was married or single. We do not know who loved him or whom he loved. If he had children we do not know who they are. His family is lost to us as he was lost to them. We will never know who this Australian was.

Yet he has always been among those we have honoured. We know that he was one of the 45,000 Australians who died on the Western Front. One of the 416,000 Australians who volunteered for service in the First World War. One of the 324,000 Australians who served overseas in that war, and one of the 60,000 Australians who died on foreign soil. One of the 100,000 Australians who have died in wars this century.

He is all of them. And he is one of us. [Read more…]