FOUR members of the Grafton RSL sub-branch spent a couple of hours decorating 800 graves of fallen servicemen and women at the Clarence Lawn Cemetery yesterday as part of the branch's annual commemoration of Remembrance Day.
It was a task normally undertaken with the help of school children, but a cross in communication this year meant Grafton Public School kids could not make it.
"Gees, you miss those kids don't you," said one aging digger as he placed a poppy on a ground-level brass plaque.
Small synthetic poppies were used, said the ex-servicemen, to represent the Flanders Poppy, which was the first vegetation to grow in the war fields in Flanders. A cemetery caretaker said there were about 8000 graves in all at the site, which opened in the mid-1960s.
Secretary of the Grafton RSL sub-branch Denis Benfield said it was important for new generations to remember those who had made the ultimate sacrifice for Australian freedom.
"Ninety-four years ago on the 11th of November, the German general Koch surrendered to the Allies to end the war of all wars," Mr Benfield said.
"Ninety-four years later we gather to honour and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in wars and in peace-keeping operations since."
Lest we forget
Wreath-laying, The Ode and The Last Post and prayers will form part of Remembrance Day ceremonies across the Clarence Valley tomorrow.
Services are expected to begin short before 11am at cenotaphs and memorials across the Clarence Valley including Grafton, South Grafton, Maclean, Yamba and Iluka.