11 November 2009
11 November 1918: after four years and 20 million lives lost the war to end all wars came to an end. Heroes rose and empires fell. In the years ahead wars would arise and heroes would once again be needed to heed the call of duty to protect those who need protection and to stop those who would cause others harm. This is what Veterans Day is about. We honour those who rose to greatness when their country, and the world, needed them.
It is now 90 years to the day since the war to end all wars came to an end. The last of those brave men who served in that struggle for freedom won't be here for much longer, so while I still can I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to you who served. And not only to those who served in the First World War, but in all wars since, and to all those who continue to step up when the world needs them most. Thank you.