Growing up in Australia in the 1990s, I often heard of the sacrifice of Australia's soldiers, past and present.
In school I learned stories of the Anzacs, attended marches, and watched dawn services on TV.
As an Australian, there were a series of stories I felt I'd always known.
However, when I became a journalist, it became clear to me I still had a lot to learn.
Interviewing veterans in the lead up to commemorative events would fill me simultaneously with gratitude for the sacrifice of defence force personnel and sadness that anyone should have to experience the horrors of war.
One evening in particular made it all click for me.
It was a Tuesday in 2015, and I was working back at the Muswellbrook Chronicle office in NSW's Hunter Valley to prepare for our Anzac centenary special.
I was flicking through 100-year-old Chronicles to add historical accounts to our coverage.
I looked at one edition - April 21, 1915. I looked at my desk calendar - April 21, 2015.
For a moment, I sat and felt the significance of it all.
These stories I had grown up hearing were recounted in real time through these pages.
This is how the people of Muswellbrook learned of the events of the war to end all wars.
History was unfolding. They didn't know what would happen on the shores of Gallipoli days later.
Now I was in the office of the same publication 100 years on.
It added to my understanding of the significance of local news.
It reinforced my desire to tell the stories of my community the best I could.
It's always a privilege to share someone's story as a journalist, or to inform a community through an emergency or a tumultuous event.
But I also realise you don't need to be a journalist to listen to our veterans' stories.
Amid COVID-19, restrictions would have limited the public's ability to attend a Remembrance Day service.
On this anniversary of the end of World War I, by observing a minute's silence or talking to a veteran, we can still remember, even if it's not in the same way we normally would.
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