Yet another Remembrance Day will hurry past on Thursday, hardly noticed, a poor cousin of Anzac Day, but devoid of a public holiday and rarely observed at 11am.
It's a quaint event, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, when an armistice with Germany silenced the big guns of World War I.
The special day was established in 1919 by King George V
A few years ago I toured the battlefields surrounding Ypres in Belgium and came across the headstone of Captain Clarence Jeffries, a NSW digger who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for heroic deeds in the battle of Passchendaele, where 38,000 Australians died.
All up, 53,000 Australians were killed in France and Belgium, a lingering statistic which seems so easily forgotten by the current French president, who is cynically using the dud submarine contract to turn presidential elections due next April into a nationalistic tour de force.
Captain Jeffries is buried at the Tyne Cot Commonwealth cemetery, located about 14 kilometres from Ypres.
The bulk of the 11,956 graves belong to British soldiers but 1369 are Australian.
I had never heard of Captain Jeffries but his headstone sort of hits you between the eyes because he was only 23 when he died a hero.
When I was just 23 I could hardly string two thoughts together, but Jeffries was not only a very young officer, he was fearless.
His citation says that on October 12, 1917 he led attacks on German machine gun posts, taking 35 prisoners and was killed on one of the forays.
The undulating fields surrounding Ypres and Passchendaele are rich in green pasture and history.
Craters caused by giant shell explosions 100 years ago have become modern day farm dams
Farmers leave unexploded shells on the edge of their villages for the army to collect and safely detonate.
The rusty, unexploded shells are still being unearthed in the fields around those villages today.
In 1917 we were still a loyal Commonwealth colony of Great Britain, and hence we sent tens of thousands of our bright young boys to a battle so far away, to protect the mother country.
British Generals like Sir Douglas Haig were pig-headed proponents of the frontal assault, which at the Somme, France, in 1916 resulted in 60,000 British soldiers massacred on open ground in a single morning.
German machine gunners could have easily set their weapons to automatic and gone for a cuppa.
Haig was promoted to Field Marshall and employed the discredited, murderous frontal assault again at Passchendaele, where Captain Jeffries became another sacrifice on Haig's altar of glory.
German and allied concrete bunkers are today used as barns for stock feed.
German, British, Canadian, French and American monuments dot the countryside.
We have no such equivalent in Australia, apart from the unmarked sites of 19th century Indigenous massacres and maybe the Eureka stockade.
I'm not quite sure what to suggest about Thursday if you're pleasantly indifferent.
It's not quite Anzac Cove with regard to infamy although the collateral damage was ten times greater.
More than 8000 Australians died at Gallipoli but we pay it far greater homage than the 53,000 who died on the Western Front.
At the entrance to the Ypres township is the huge monument called the Menin Gate, immortalised in a scathing piece of anti-war literature by poet Siegfried Sassoon, himself a decorated British veteran of the Western Front:
"Who will remember, passing through this Gate,
the unheroic dead who fed the guns?
Who shall absolve the foulness of their fate,
Those doomed, conscripted, unvictorious ones?
"Here was the world's worst wound. And here with pride
'Their name liveth for ever', the Gateway claims.
Was ever an immolation so belied
as these intolerably nameless names?
Well might the Dead who struggled in the slime
Rise and deride this sepulchre of crime."
The Menin Gate towers over you like a giant mausoleum.
An impressive structure that hints at the greatness of those tens of thousands who were cut down by the belligerence of staff officers like Field Marshall Haig.
He was knighted after the Great War.
He should have been charged with war crimes.
Don't write off Thursday as just an 11am moment for military buffs, RSL and Legacy members.
Come next April 25 thousands of young Australians will celebrate the end of COVID border closures, to rug up and get teary as the first light of the dawn illuminates Anzac Cove.
It's hip to be a young Anzac celebrant, even though the crux of the sentiment lies within the bloodied soil of Ypres and surrounding battlefields of France.
I'll probably never go there again.
I've seen it once and visiting a second time would likely be labouring the point.
It is indeed a staggering reflection, that so many thousands of young Australians are still there and never coming home.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.