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Australia stops to remember the fallen

Victoria Cross winner, Corporal Daniel Keighran, stands by the cenotaph following a Remembrance Day ceremony in Sydney on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. Remembrance Day celebrates the end of World War I and pays tribute to the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)
Victoria Cross winner, Corporal Daniel Keighran, stands by the cenotaph following a Remembrance Day ceremony in Sydney on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. Remembrance Day celebrates the end of World War I and pays tribute to the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. (AAP Image/Paul Miller) PAUL MILLER - AAP

HUNDREDS of Australians have flocked to memorial sites to pay tribute to the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to fight for their country.

In Brisbane, the looming rain clouds managed to hold off as about 500 people packed into Anzac Square.

Governor Penelope Wensley led the procession of dignitaries up to the Shrine of Remembrance and laid wreaths in honour of Australia's service men and women.

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, Opposition Leader Annastasia Palaszczuk and Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk were also among the crowd.

The defence force band played the national anthem and the ode of remembrance as the sound of sobbing from a grieving loved one echoed throughout the square.

RSL Queensland chairman Terry Meehan said Remembrance Day, which commemorates the end of World War I, was significant as ever.

"The Remembrance Day in the 21st century is just as significant as in the past," he said.

RSL Queensland chief executive Chris McHugh said in the past decade, 39 Australian Defence Force personnel aged from 21 to 41 had been killed on duty in Afghanistan.

"More than 240 other soldiers and sailors have suffered amputations, fractures, gunshot wounds, hearing loss or brain injury," he said in a statement.

"While their losses cannot be remedied, we can honour their sacrifices by ensuring that their mission and their families are not forgotten or neglected."

Australians stopped at 11am for one minute of silence.

Almost 4000 people gathered at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, a noticeable increase on last year's attendance.

Governor-General Quentin Bryce and Prime Minister Julia Gillard laid wreaths before Defence Force chief General David Hurley delivered the commemorative address.

One hundred and two students from around Australia laid poppies symbolising the more than 102,000 Australian servicemen and women who have died in war.

The reality of ongoing conflict was particularly pertinent in Canberra where families and friends watched the names of their nine loved ones added to the memorial's Roll of Honour.

At the Cenotaph in Sydney's Martin Place, about 1000 people gathered to commemorate the 94 years since the end of WWI.

Recent Victoria Cross recipient Australian Defence Force Corporal Daniel Keighran was among the crowd.

Topics:  annastacia palaszczuk, graham quirk, ian stewart, penelope wensley, remembrance day, victoria cross




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