Skip to main content
Skip to main menu
Sharing Australia's military and service history through the experiences of our veterans
Wars and missions
World War I 1914 to 1918
World War II 1939 to 1945
Kokoda Track 1942-1943
Burma-Thailand Railway and Hellfire Pass 1942-1943
The Malayan Emergency 1948-1960
Korean War 1950 to 1953
The Indonesian Confrontation 1962-1966
Vietnam War 1962 to 1975
Gulf War 1990 to 1991
Peacekeeping since 1947
Stories of service
Australians at War stories
Great War memories
Vietnam war stories
Days of commemoration
Symbols of commemoration
Memorial sites to visit
Education and research
Researching Australians at war
Recording oral histories
Glossary of terms
You are here
'Lest we forget' as a symbol of commemoration in Australia
History of its symbolism The phrase 'Lest we forget' is from a line in an 1897 Rudyard Kipling poem, Recessional:
Commemorations & War Graves The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) acknowledges and commemorates all those who have served Austral
Anzac biscuits and remembrance
Modern recipe for Anzac biscuits Bake a batch of Anzac biscuits.
Anzac Day 25 April
Anzac Day In Australia (1940) newsreel (Video)
The first Anzac Day of the war was seen very much as a passing of the torch from the original AIF to the Second AIF. In this newsreel footage, we see troops, World War I veterans and police marching…
Australian national commemorations
Upcoming anniversaries and events Our National Commemorations Program aims to provide recognition, respect and acknowledgement to all Australian veterans, which supports DVA's objectives
Australian Remembrance Trail in Belgium and France
Plan your trip Between 1916 and 1918, some 295,000 Australians served on the Western Front.
Australian war graves and overseas memorials
Battle for Australia Day
Significance of the day Thousands of Australians were engaged in actions against Japanese forces during the Battle for Australia.
Bugles - Last Post - Here they come—A day to remember (Video)
This video focuses on the bugle. Bugles are musical instruments that were played during battles to send instructions to soldiers. A tune called The Last Post marked the end of the day when the…
The Australian Government commemorates and remembers the service and sacrifice of Australia’s service men and women.
Commemorative grants to honour Australian veterans
Grant categories DVA provides two categories of grants under the
Dawn ceremony as a symbol of commemoration in Australia
History of its symbolism The idea of a dawn service originates from the army's 'stand-to' routine in World War I.
Emu plume as a symbol of commemoration in Australia
History of its symbolism
Eternal flame as a symbol of commemoration
History of its symbolism An eternal flame, like a flame, lamp or torch, glows for
Flags - Here they come—A day to remember (Video)
This video focuses on flags flown at half-mast. This is a commemorative symbol that means we are remembering someone who has died. On Anzac Day, the Australian flag is lowered for a period of time…
Here they come—A day to remember video (Video)
This video is part of a series of videos developed for the Here they come—A day to remember publication.
Honour Rolls - Here they come—A day to remember (Video)
This video focuses on honour rolls, which records the names of individuals from a community who served during a war. Communities make honour rolls to recognise the service of veterans and remember…
Honour rolls as a symbol of commemoration in Australia
History of its symbolism
Kokoda Track trekking in Papua New Guinea
Significance of Kokoda When Australians remember World War I, they often think of the Gallipoli Campaign. When they think of World War II, many think of the Kokoda Campaign.
Medals as symbols of commemoration in Australia
History of its symbolism Medals and decorations are an official symbol of someone's service in the defence forces.
Memorial sites to visit in Australia and overseas
Remembering ... in many ways Wherever you are in Australia, in small towns and large cities, you can find a war memorial. Community war memorials come in many forms:
Merchant Navy Day 3 September
Significance of 3 September We commemorate Merchant Navy Day each year on 3 September. This is the anniversary of the first merchant marine sinking of World War II.
Music to play at commemorations
Spotify playlist This year, we’ve released a playlist on the Spotify music streaming service – Anzac Day 2020.
Ode of Remembrance and other poems
Ode of Remembrance The Ode of Remembrance has been recited at events to commemorate wartime service and sacrifice since 1921.
One minute's silence as a symbol of commemoration
History of its symbolism Edward George Honey, a Melbourne journalist and World War I veteran, was living in London in 1919.
Download our Remembrance Day poster Every year we create a poster to commemorate Remembrance Day, along with a student activity sheet. We send copies to schools around Australia.
Planning a commemorative service
If you plan to host a local ceremony to honour the service and sacrifice of veterans, such as Anzac Day or Remembrance Day, you could follow our suggested Order of Service.
Poppies - Here they come—A day to remember (Video)
This video focuses on poppies, which are red flowers that symbolise commemoration. Poppies grew on the battlefields of Belgium and France in World War I. Many Australian soldiers died there during…
Poppies to make
Symbol of commemoration The poppy is a strong symbol of commemoration.
Red poppies as a symbol of commemoration in Australia
History of its symbolism During World War I, red poppies were among the first plants to grow on the Western Front
Remembrance Day 11 November
How you can get involved On Remembrance Day, we acknowledge those who have served and continue to serve our country. All Australians can:
Riderless horse as a symbol of commemoration in Australia
History of its symbolism For hundreds of years, the riderless horse has been used in military parades to remember fallen soldiers.
Rosemary - Here they come—A day to remember (Video)
This video focuses on the herb rosemary. Rosemary grows wild on Gallipoli in Turkey. Many Australian soldiers died there during World War I. This symbolic herb is often worn on Anzac Day to help us…
Rosemary as a symbol of commemoration in Australia
History of its symbolism Since ancient times, the aromatic herb rosemary has been believed to improve your memory. It's an ancient symbol of fidelity and remembrance.
Slouch hat as a symbol of commemoration in Australia
History of its symbolism
Speeches for commemorations
Ideas for local content You could include a story of someone from your community or school who served Australia during a global conflict or peacekeeping mission.
Symbols of commemoration
You'll find many meaningful symbols of commemoration at services held on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day, and during military ceremonies and funerals.
Victory in the Pacific Day 15 August
Vietnam Veterans' Day 18 August
Australians and the Vietnam War The Vietnam War was Australia's longest military engagement of the 20th Century.
War Cemeteries within Australia (Fact sheet)
The Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG) cares for the perpetual commemorations of Commonwealth forces of the First and Second World Wars in 72 Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) war…
War memorials as a symbol of commemoration in Australia
History of its symbolism Memorials provide a place for people to gather and remember those who served from their local community, region, state or country.
War museums and memorials to visit
Visit a site or interact online Museums play a vital role in educating the public by:
Why We Remember: P-3 Commemoration presentation (Educational), (Classroom activity)
Presentation slide deck for teachers of P-3 students in Australia. Designed to explain the difference between 'celebration' and 'commemoration' to lower primary students. It explores the terms '…
Wreaths - Here they come—A day to remember (Video)
This video focuses on wreaths as a commemorative symbol to help us honour and remember people who have died in war. Wreaths are often laid at ceremonies and memorials during such commemorative…
Wreaths as a symbol of commemoration in Australia
History of its symbolism In ancient times, the Romans used a wreath of laurel leaves to symbolise bravery, strength and triumph.
Wreaths to make
Symbol of commemoration To the ancient Romans, a wreath of laurel leaves was a symbol of bravery, strength and
Subscribe to Commemoration
Connect with us
You can receive monthly Anzac Portal newsletters to hear about new online resources and upcoming activities