House debates

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Statements by Members

World War II: 75th Anniversary, Cox, Warrant Officer Bert

1:50 pm

Photo of Bert Van ManenBert Van Manen (Forde, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to acknowledge the sacrifice and contribution of almost one million Australians who served during the Second World War, fighting in theatres across the globe from Europe and the Middle East through to South-East Asia and the Pacific.

More than 12,000 veterans of the Second World War are thankfully still with us today. This year, to acknowledge the significance of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the Department of Veterans' Affairs produced a commemorative medallion and certificate of commemoration for every living veteran.

I was privileged enough and honoured to present one of these medallions and certificates to Warrant Officer Bert Cox of the Royal Australian Air Force. Bert was born in Murwillumbah in June 1924 and enlisted in the RAAF on 8 October 1942. Bert undertook wireless and gunnery training at the navigation school at Pirie before being posted to New Guinea where he served as a flight sergeant wireless operator and flew Liberators out of Darwin and Morotai.

Bert, along with so many of his generation, gave everything to fight for us and the values we hold dear today. While we can never repay that debt, we owe almost one million Australians who served. On behalf of a grateful nation, we say thank you and can only hope to keep working to make our world a better place. Equally, I'd say thank you to all of the serving men and women in today's armed forces.