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Laying of a wreath at the Australian War Memorial to commemorate the fallen of the 2/2nd and 2/5th Commando Squadrons, Canberra, Thursday, 12 March 1998: address on the occasion of.



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ADDRESS BY SIR WILLIAM DEANE

GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

ON THE OCCASION OF THE LAYING OF A WREATH AT THE AUSTRALIAN

WAR MEMORIAL TO COMMEMORATE THE FALLEN OF THE 212 nd AND 2/5™

COMMANDO SQUADRONS

CANBERRA

THURSDAY. 12 MARCH 1998

Today, we are gathered at this our national shrine to remember and to honour the deceased members o f two great Australian army units What was to become the 2/2nd Commando Squadron was formed in July 1941 What was to become the 2/5th Commando Squadron was formed in March 1942. Each served with great distinction and heroism through the darkest years o f the Second World War. Each contributed magnificently to the victory that was finally won. And in doing so, each paid a heavy price.

Those who fought in the two Squadrons who are here today to pay tribute to their comrades who have died have personal memories which are theirs and theirs alone: memories o f courage and acts o f heroism; o f hardship and mateship; o f comrades who have died in the years since the war - some since the last gathering or safari o f their

Squadron; and o f comrades who died so long ago in Timor or New Guinea or some other place and who have entered the pantheon o f our nation where they remain forever young.

The rest o f us, in pride and sorrow, pay tribute on behalf o f the nation which the deceased members o f each Squadron, particularly those who gave their all, served so nobly. Our nation w ill continue to remember and honour each and all o f them even when the last o f their comrades gathered here today has joined them For that is the sacred obligation o f all Australians

They are part o f our nation's achievements; part o f our history. Their spirit lingers lightly with that o f the Unknown Soldier buried in the Hall o f Memory. Here, at the true heart o f our nation

May they rest with God.