Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Australian Government and RSL Australia have unfortunately had to cancel all international and many commemorative services for ANZAC Day, including the ones in Gallipoli, France and Papua New Guinea. Here are a few ways to still pay your respects to the fallen ANZACs that fought for our freedoms that we enjoy today.
RSL Australia and ABC Local Radio have created the joint venture of Light Up The Dawn to help everyday Aussies commemorate this very unusual ANZAC Day. They are requesting every Australian to stand at the end of their driveway at 6am and listen to the radio or download and play the official short commemorative service which includes a minute of silence and the Last Post. You can RSVP to the official Facebook event or learn more on the RSL Queensland website.
Poppies are a well-recognised symbol of commemoration, having been used since the 1920s. They were some of the first flowers to pop up in the battlefields after the war, their bright red colouring reminding people of a less peaceful time the fields were painted red. The Australian Department of Veterans Affairs has a great pattern for making poppies out of tissue paper. You could make them into a wreath or pin them to your clothing before the dawn service on Saturday.
Sometimes it is easy to forget the trials and tribulations faced by the ANZACs as they landed on the beaches at Gallipoli. A great way to refresh your memory and refine the details of the story of the ANZACs is to watch a documentary, and there are some fantastic ones available free online. Stardom on YouTube has ANZACS: In the Face Of War and Queensland Health has Bandages & Battlefields about the doctors and nurses working on the front line.
Hosting a personal commemoration for your immediate household is another way to celebrate ANZAC Day on Sunday. The Australian Department of Veterans Affairs has advice for hosting your own commemoration, including links to music, posters to print out and put up and poems to read.
The official dawn service held at the Australian War Memorial is happening on Saturday morning, but will be a private event that you can live stream or watch on television. After the service, bake some ANZAC biscuits or play a round of two-up and take a minute to appreciate the life we lead thanks to their noble sacrifice.