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Remembrance Day celebrated for 80th year in a row at the Australian War Memorial

The national War Memorial in Canberra will commemorate Remembrance Day for the 80th time on Thursday.

Having been unveiled on November 11, 1941, the memorial will again host a wreath laying ceremony and a minutes silence, despite COVID-19 restrictions in the ACT.

In line with guidelines in the territory 500 people will be permitted to pay their respects to honour armed forces members who have died in the line of duty.

Governor-General Lord Gowrie opened the memorial – originally to honour those who died in World War I – on a rainy Tuesday in 1941, with more than 5000 people in attendance including then-Prime Minister John Curtin.

The building had been in the works for almost 15 years, with an architectural competition run in 1927 to choose the design of the memorial.

But two architects were chosen to finalise designs, John Crust and Emil Sodersteen.

The pair were encouraged to work together, with Mr Sodersteen using an Art Deco inspiration for the domed roof to the Hall of Memory, and Mr Crust incorporating the arched cloisters to house the Roll of Honour.

Despite quickly finalising plans, building work could not start till 1934, with construction delayed by World War II.

A former staff member of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, AWM Director Matt Anderson will lead the Remembrance Address on Thursday.

Mr Anderson was the Ambassador to Afghanistan in 2015 to 2016, and the Deputy High Commissioner of the UK until 2020.

Speaking during ANZAC Day this year, Mr Anderson said the need to come together was more important than ever in the time of COVID-19.

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