Emotional day

November 13, 2017

In attendance: Dignitaries from Shepparton and the north-east attended Shepparton's annual Remembrance Day commemoration service.

Colourful scene: About 50-odd wreathes were presented at the event by various service organisations, schools and groups.

On guard: Master of Ceremony Brian McInneny welcomed the crowd of almost 400 people.

Kind gesture: Wanganui Park Secondary College school captain Shae Montgomery laying a wreath on behalf of the school.

Interested crowd: The public laying poppies at the closing of the commemoration service.

Lest we forget: An attendee dropping a poppy into a chute at the Shepparton cenotaph on Saturday.

Public reflection: Guest speaker Travis Rosenow from the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps spoke at the Shepparton Remembrance Day commemoration service.

As the hot sun beamed down, hundreds bowed their heads and stood in silence at the Shepparton cenotaph at the 11th hour on Saturday morning.

The Shepparton RSL held its annual Remembrance Day commemoration service on Saturday, with huge numbers turning out for the event.

‘‘The crowd was at least double the size because of the day being on a weekend,’’ Shepparton RSL president Bob Wilkie said.

Close to 400 people, including veterans, RSL members, ex-servicemen, dignitaries, families and children, gathered — overlooking a field of small white miniature crosses.

A field of remembrance.

Crosses etched with the names of hundreds of Shepparton and Mooroopna residents who have fallen and since departed.

Shepparton resident Travis Rosenow, from the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, spoke about his ancestral history.

He served in the Australian Defence Force for more than 16 years, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and great-grandfather.

‘‘My great-grandfather Henry Weight served in the infantry in World War I,’’ Mr Rosenow said.

‘‘When he returned my great-grandmother said he was ‘a stranger in her husband’s body’... he cried tears into a whiskey bottle.’’

Mr Rosenow joined the Army Reserve in 1993, first becoming involved through the Shepparton barracks as a 21-year-old.

He served in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and at a number of locations across Australia, honourably discharged after reaching the rank of Sergeant in 2008.

‘‘Today is a very significant day... it’s for all the ex and current ADF personnel,’’ he said.

‘‘Some of the troops that I’ve taught are deployed overseas now, so it’s an emotional day.

‘‘It’s about being there for one another.’’

More than 1.5 million Australians have served in defence of our nation and our values and more than 102000 have died.

Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice.

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