By CASEY NEILL
DANDENONG RSL president John Wells made a plea for harmony at today’s Remembrance Day service.
A crowd assembled at the Pillars of Freedom on Clow Street, Dandenong, for an 11am minute’s silence bookended by The Last Post and Reveille.
In light of recent tensions with the Muslim community, Mr Wells said the Anzacs would have said “give the poor buggers a go. Let’s see how good they really are”.
“They died for living in freedom,” he said.
“Remember that the blokes were people with values. Anzac values. Australian values.”
He said the spirit of a fair go was among them.
“Nowhere is it more relevant than in Dandenong today,” he said.
Sub-branch secretary Judy Murdoch said the service was deliberately kept brief and very simple “as this is a day of solemn remembrance”.
She lamented the absence of local Australian Army Cadets, following a ban on the recruits wearing their uniforms in public amid fears for their safety.
“We do look a little bare around the cenotaph because we haven’t got our flag party,” Ms Murdoch said.
“They were coming. They were stopped.”
Dandenong High School students Brandon and Rebecca read The Ode for the Fallen and St James’ Anglican Church’s Reverend Jeffrey Parker offered a prayer.
“We remember all who have died from every faith; those who sacrificed,” he said.
New City of Greater Dandenong mayor Sean O’Reilly kept his speech short and sweet, bestowing upon the fallen the city’s deepest gratitude.
“Lest we forget,” he said.