“And I am optimistic we will be able to do something, small and entirely appropriate for the time, and in keeping with the customs and protocols we are doing in keeping our community safe.”
Anzac Day events have been cancelled across the country due to COVID-19, but the RSL has launched the #standto and #lightupthedawn campaign, asking people to stand in their driveways, balconies, front gardens and light a candle or use their phones to commemorate the dawn service as they would at a big event.
Musician James Morrison said “what’s more Aussie than standing in your driveway celebrating Anzac Day”. Brass musicians are also being called to learn the Last Post and perform a rendition at dawn.
The AFL is jumping on board and encouraging fans to dress in their club’s colours and walk out into their yards, driveways and balconies to pay their respects during the AFL’s ceremony and to share their experiences on social media using the #standto hashtag.
“The message to football fans and the wider community this year is that ANZAC Day is not cancelled, but it is different,” McLachlan said in an AFL statement on Tuesday.
“On Saturday April 25, while you can’t go to the Shrine of Remembrance or a local dawn service, the RSL is asking that instead you #STANDTO in a moment of commemoration. The AFL, and its clubs, are encouraging all football fans to walk outside at 6am, stand in your yard, driveway, or on your balcony and observe a minute of silence in respect of our veterans.”
The ceremony will be broadcast on AFL.com.au, the AFL Live Official App, collingwoodfc.com.au (and the club’s app), essendonfc.com.au (and the club’s app), and other media platforms on Saturday afternoon, prior to what would have been the annual Essendon-Collingwood Anzac Day match.