There were history lessons and hope for the future at the Wollongong War Memorial on Monday, as residents gathered to mark the anniversary of the end of World War I.
A little over 100 people - a mix of veterans, defence force personnel, local politicians, families and passers by - joined in the Wollongong CBD service, held - as usual - at 11am sharp to remember the day and time the war stopped in November 1918.
After a minute of silence, a hymn and prayer, Wollongong sub-branch president Peter Poulton delivered the ceremonial address.
He spoke mainly of the importance of gathering for Remembrance Day, but couldn't ignore the fire catastrophe currently facing many Australians.
"In every hamlet, every village, every country town, every major city, Australia has come to halt to remember our fallen," Mr Poulton said.
"Unfortunately in some places up north this will not happen due to the devastation of the bushfires.
"And I think our hearts should go out to them and those who are protective of the lives and property of people in peril."
Mr Poulton pointed out that 60,000 Australians had died during the World War I conflict, but said "lessons were not learnt" despite this great number of deaths as Australia entered into many other wars.
"Unfortunately lessons from World War I were not learnt, we then went into World War II and place like the Kokoda Trail and numerous others," he said.
"This was to continue on with Indonesion confrontations, and then Korea, and then Vietnam, and until today Australia has lost over 100,000 defending this country.
"Their sacrifices should not be forgotten, because we as young and old Australians enjoy the freedoms we have today because of those sacrifices."
With the 101st anniversary of the end of the war ticking by, Mr Poulton said it was also important to look forward to the next generation.
"I was asked at school one day, 'what do you think causes war?'," he said.
"I had to think for some time and I came back with the following reply: 'Religious intolerance, greed, racial intolerance, despotism and tyranny... that's what its all been about'."
"As we leave here, also think of those young Australian who are deployed around the world.
"There are too many places to nominate where they are serving, and let us hope that we are not standing here next year remembering any others paying the supreme sacrifice."
Many other services were held at across the Illawarra to mark the day.