Teenagers have been recruited to keep the spirit of young Australians who served on the battlefields of World War 1 alive at Remembrance Day services at Tweed and Coolangatta on Friday.
The teens will don historic uniforms worn by Australian medics who attended those injured at war for the ceremonies that will be staged by the Tweed Heads & Coolangatta RSL sub-branch an hour apart at 11am DST time in NSW and 11am AEST in Queensland.
November 11 marks the 98th anniversary of the Armistice which ended the First World War (1914-18).
Each year, Australians observe one minute’s silence at 11am in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.
The Tweed Heads and Coolangatta RSL sub-branch, with more than 1000 members is one of the largest in the nation.
Established to support those who served in World Wars I and II, members these days are more likely to have served
in Korea, the Malaysian conflicts and Vietnam, with a smaller number having served in Middle Eastern conflicts
like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tweed Heads Coolangatta RSL treasurer John Griffin said it would increasingly fall to the young to remember their military
history and keep the spirit of the Anzacs alive. Still, while wars were fought, there would always be a place for the RSL.
“The RSL was formed after World War I because there was no support for veterans. Though in recent years,
the government has taken more responsibility providing pensions, our welfare work remains important,” he said.
“For those who suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), we’re a place to go. We can help or arrange
for others to help.
“So long as the spirit of mateship is alive in Australia, we’ll be the place where those people can find someone they
can talk through an issue with, somewhere where a mate can help put you back on track.”
Tweed Heads Coolangatta RSL will hold services at Chris Cunningham Park, Tweed Heads (11am DST; 10amQueensland time)
and at Queen Elizabeth II Park, Coolangatta (11am Qld time; noon DST).