WHEN silence falls across the nation today, two Tamworth veterans will be thinking of the sacrifices made by those who fought before, after, and alongside them.
With their medals pinned proudly to their chest, Vietnam War veteran Ray Stevens who fought in 1971, and Marty McDonald who was deployed to East Timor in 2001, said the service men and women who had lost their lives would be in the forefront of their minds today.
"It's very important you remember the blokes you fought with, but you also remember all their families," Mr Stevens said.
"It's hard on them."
Mr McDonald said today was the perfect opportunity for everyone to take a step back and pay their respects, even if it was just for a minute.
"It's to actually be thinking not of the bread and milk I've got to get this afternoon, but to actually be thinking about what it would have been like to be in their shoes," he said.
While Remembrance Day falls on November 11 each year, Mr Stevens and Mr McDonald agreed that their memories of war, both the good and the bad, weren't reserved for just one day.
"Just little things trigger it," Mr Stevens said.
"It's not something that comes back once a year ... it's more like three times a week."
With Mr Stevens as President of the Tamworth Vietnam Veterans Support Group and Mr McDonald concerned about the impact of remembering times in the war, both veterans said reaching out would be a top priority.
"It's a good day to check in our your mates whether you've served or not," Mr McDonald said.
"If you know someone that has [served] it's a good reminder."
Today's service is set to be held at 10:15am at Tamwoth's Bicentennial Park to allow for larger crowds after last year's Remembrance Day was forced online, and with only small in-person ceremonies.
Mr McDonald hoped that given the increased capacity for this year's service, the community would take advantage of the opportunity to attend and honour our servicemen and women.
"Everyone's been locked up and having this freedom back I think people will definitely show their support," Mr McDonald said.
While organisers have flagged concerns that today's service could potentially fall victim to wet weather, all service men and women of the Tamworth RSL sub-group have been invited to a luncheon.
This opportunity to come together and share stories, a laugh and beer with mates was something Mr Stevens and Mr McDonald treasured.
It's what Remembrance Day is all about, they agreed.
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