Stop and remember. That's the message from Bendigo District RSL sub -branch president Peter Swandale for Remembrance Day today.
Remembrance Day marks the day a peace agreement was reached and guns first fell silent on the Western Front during the First World War. Traditionally at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a minutes silence is served.
"In the past I have seen people stop in the streets at 11th our of 11th day," Mr Swandale said. "You don't see it as much anymore. You just need to go silent for a minute.
"The guns did go silent (on November 11) but war didn't stop (until June 28).
"When I look back I remember the sacrifice, particularly in WWI when you think about all those people went to war as volunteers and didn't come home."
Remembrance Day is the second-largest commemoration day for Bendigo following Anzac Day.
Mr Swandale will serve as guest speaker at the Bendigo ceremony at Pall Mall today. He plans to acknowledge the sacrifice of everyone who was involved in the First World War.
"I would like to remind people why we stop and for that minute's silence," he said.
"I expect at least 200 people will be there. It is a Monday, so we believe the crowd might be down but I just ask for people to stop and remember for that one minute (at 11am).
"We would always say that Anzac Day is the largest (service) because of the march. Remembrance Day doesn't a march but it has a very big service."
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first commemoration services for World War I.
Mr Swandale said the current generations might not be able to understand the emotion attached to that first year of commemorations.
"I don't think our generation would understand that," he said."We haven't seen that type of war before and God help us we won't.
"So it's important to tell their story and maintain their history. We only have a few (WWII) veterans left now and only four or five (in the Bendigo region)."
With so few direct links to the past World Wars, Mr Swandale said it was important to pass their stories on to future generations.
"It is also another way of teaching our young generations," he said.
"They are the future and keepers of this now and we need to tell the stories and maintain (the history) through them.
"To tell those stories and have the opportunity to remind ourselves what bravery there was and to maintain those stories on different mediums like the internet and Facebook means more people are reading those stories."
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