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Students’ poppy garden blooms in remembrance

Wattle Grove Public School students have created a memorial garden to remember those who serve in the Australian Defence Force and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Wattle Grove poppy garden

Wattle Grove Public School students have launched a new poppy garden to give future generations a place to reflect, respect and remember our military personnel.

The garden, funded by the school and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, was developed by members of the local community including students from Holsworthy High School and Wattle Grove Public School.

Launched to coincide with Remembrance Day, 100 poppies are included in the allotment to represent the 100 years since the Armistice, with 10 purple poppies dedicated to the animals lost during war. The garden provides students with a place to reflect, respect and remember the contribution of those who have served.

Kim Lazarevic, Defence School Mentor at Wattle Grove Public School, said many Wattle Grove Public School parents serve in the armed services “so we have a very special sense of gratitude, respect and pride for those who put their lives on the line.”

“It is vital our students take the time out to remember that the peace and security we take for granted is due largely to the bravery of our defence personnel. We hope this remembrance garden brings what they do to the forefront of learning and reminds students of the contribution they are making.”

Students across NSWpaid respect to members of the armed services in commemorations of the centenary of the Armistice. Holsworthy High School students unveiled a refurbished historic flagpole monument restored to look as it did in World War II when the school grounds were used as a Military Corrective Establishment and later as a training facility for soldiers going to Vietnam.

Holsworthy High School Principal Mark Watkins said it was important to the Holsworthy community for students to honour and show their appreciation to the military for protecting the freedoms all Australians enjoy.

“The new monument will ensure Holsworthy High students remember the cherished contribution of military personnel and the horrors of war for generations to come,” he said.

“Transforming a Military Corrective Establishment into a school illustrates our nation’s ability to use lessons from the past in a regenerative sense - it sets the stage for the lessons highlighting the realities of war for future generations.”

Thornleigh West Public School students raised money for the Poppy Appeal and held a special Remembrance Day assembly. Former Invictus competitor and Poppy Appeal Ambassador, Damien Thomlinson, spoke to students.

“This year marks 100 years since the guns fell silent at the end of World War I and as we honour the past we also look to the future,” Mr Thomlinson said.

“More and more veterans and their families are putting their hand up to ask for help. We also know that more veterans and their families are moving to regional areas. The Poppy Appeal will help raise funds to look after their welfare, to provide drought relief particularly to those veterans in remote areas, but also to make sure that whatever difficulties they have, someone will be there to help them.”

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