Shadow Minister for Veterans and Member for Campbelltown GREG WARREN highlights the significance of the inaugural War Widows Day:

Most of the time when we talk about war, conflict and sacrifice, we refer to those brave men and women who served – or still serve – in the Australian Defence Forces.

However, what should not be forgotten is what their loved ones – the ones who were left behind – endured.

Today, on the inaugural War Widows Day, we have the opportunity to think about exactly that.

Imagine embracing your partner or spouse tomorrow and knowing it could be the last time that ever occurred.

That’s precisely the situation many war widows were faced with during WWI and WWII.

They were the ones who were left behind to pick up the pieces.

It was those war widows who were left to raise their children on their own and who were responsible for putting food on the family table.

There are more than 15,000 surviving widows and widowers throughout NSW.

That is more than 15,000 broken hearts.

The 19th of October is also an incredibly important day for the Australian War Widows NSW as it marks the birthday of AWWNSW founder, Mrs Jessie Mary Vasey OBE CBE (1897 – 1966).

The AWWNSW has helped countless war widows since Mrs Vasey established the organisation in 1945 and her legacy still lives on today.

As do the sacrifices and efforts of every war widow throughout our state and our nation.

Today, we remember them.

Below: Jessie Vasey talks with the Governor of Victoria, Major General Sir Winston Dugan after receiving the CB, CBE, and bar to the DSO awarded to her late husband Major-General George Vasey