Unable to gather in groups due to coronavirus restrictions, Aussies lit candles in their driveways at 6am as part of the Returned Services League’s “Light Up The Dawn” initiative.
The stark difference between this year’s Anzac Day commemorations and those past was acknowledged at barely attended memorials around the country, where special exemptions were made to conduct dawn services.
Marches have been cancelled for only the third time — the last time in 1942 and previously during the devastating Spanish flu outbreak.
Yesterday, Mr Morrison flagged the RSL’s initiative and streamed services as “an opportunity for all of us to gather as our nation remembers its fallen and its heroes and reflects on the great values that sustain them at other times,” he said.
“It was a hundred years ago when Australians returned from the First World War, and on their first Anzac Day in Australia, it was in the middle of the Spanish flu. And so something very similar to what we will face tomorrow, as we gather together without the parades, but we do so quietly and commemoratively, and I do think it will be a very special time,” he said.
“Anzac Day is special. Let’s remember them tomorrow. Make a post. Thank them for their service. Let them know they’re all appreciated, much admired, greatly respected. And join in the national effort, I think, for an Anzac Day which will be one to remember for a very long time.”
At 6am on ANZAC Day, join us at the end of your driveway, on your balcony, or in your living room to remember all those who have served and sacrificed for this nation.
Learn more at https://t.co/1dmsT3cuVY pic.twitter.com/JwOgOzd4Fh
— RSL Queensland (@RSLQueensland) April 1, 2020
As part of its initiative, the RSL is encouraged Aussies to “light up the dawn” and pledge to stand in their driveways, on balconies or in living rooms this Saturday morning with candles, torches or mobile phones in hand.
News Corp Australia has also created a virtual candle available for download here.
If you forget to set your alarm, fear not, musicians are also being urged to play The Last Post at 6am on trumpets and bugles. Some people have already announced they will be opting for less-traditional instruments such as saxophones and violins.
Horse SA has invited “horse owners and their steeds” – including donkeys and mules – to stand at the end of their driveway to mark the occasion and “keep the memory of the Light Horse alive through this difficult time”.
April 25 commemorates the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during WWI.
This year marks the 105th anniversary of the landing of ANZAC troops at Gallipoli in 1915.
“Just imagine how special it would be if every Australian was standing in their driveway at 6am on Anzac Day, united in spirit to remember all those who have served and sacrificed for the lifestyle we enjoy today,” RSL Queensland said.
“If you have rosemary growing in your garden, pin a sprig to your lapel in remembrance of those who served and sacrificed for our sake.”
ANZAC Day this year will be unlike any we’ve commemorated before. It’s been a tough year for all of us, but we must not forget how tough it was for those who fought for our country and for those who continue to serve.
— Peter Dutton (@PeterDutton_MP) April 22, 2020
Aussies were encouraged to be ready a few minutes early so everyone can begin their service at 6am.
You can “pledge your place” here and print flyers encouraging your neighbourhood to do so.
“This year, we will not be gathering at the local cenotaph, or attending gunfire breakfasts at the local RSL, or gathering together to bow our heads in silence and listen to the bugles at dawn,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“But we will still remember the sacrifice of those who gave so much for us at Gallipoli and on many fronts, as we ourselves give what we can to protect Australian lives while we face this terrible virus.”
Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, gave the green light for a service at the Australian War Memorial on Saturday morning which will be closed to the public and attended by “essential” persons only.
“We encourage you to #StandAtDawn and watch the live telecast of the dawn service at the Australian War Memorial,” the Department of Defence wrote on Twitter.
RELATED: Do we get an Anzac Day public holiday this year?
At 4:28am on Anzac Day, I will be joined by the Governor of Queensland Paul de Jersey, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and RSL Queensland President Tony Ferris at a small commemorative service at the Shine of Remembrance. #AnzacSpirit #LightUpTheDawn pic.twitter.com/LttTLlmW6C
— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) April 21, 2020
WHERE CAN I WATCH OR LISTEN TO A SERVICE?
The national commemorative service will be broadcast live from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on ABC TV and iview from 5.30am AEST on Saturday. It will also be live streamed on the AWM website, on Facebook and YouTube.
Alternatively, at 6am you can play an audio file from the RSL of the Anzac Day service including The Ode, The Last Post, a minute’s silence, Reveille and the national anthems of Australia and New Zealand. The service is available to listen or download here.
At 11.30am local time, the ABC will broadcast a two-minute, quiet reflection on its national and local radio services, main television channel, ABC NEWS channel, ABC iview and on social media. Anzac Day marches from 2019 and the centenary commemorative services from Gallipoli (2015) and Villers Bretonneux (2018) will be rebroadcast from 12.30pm on ABC’s main channel.
The AWM will also stream a Last Post Ceremony at 4.55pm on its various social media channels.
The ABC will broadcast Governor-General David Hurley’s Anzac Day address at 6.55pm local time.
On a year like no other, I invite you to #StandAtDawn this #AnzacDay. Although we may not be able to march, our veterans & their families are in our thoughts. With thanks to @AWMemorial and @abcnews our national commemorative service will be live streamed on Anzac day, 25 April. pic.twitter.com/WsoFVF8VMi
— General Angus Campbell (@CDF_Aust) April 20, 2020
Smaller services, attended by community leaders, will be held in capital cities across the country on Saturday.
In Brisbane, wreaths will be laid at 4.28am by four people including Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the Shrine of Remembrance.
The 6am service from the Adelaide National War Memorial will be available on ABC Radio Adelaide, ABC Regional stations and TV. Those in Darwin are encouraged by RSL SA/NT to tune into the ABC coverage and national service.
The 6am service at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne will be live streamed on RSL Victoria’s Facebook page from 5.50am.
A 6.30am Perth service including a message from Premier Mark McGowan will be streamed on RSL WA’s Facebook.
A service will be broadcast from the Anzac Memorial at Hyde Park in Sydney from 10am, streamed by RSL NSW. Here is the order of service.
In Hobart, a local commemorative service will be broadcast on ABC Radio Hobart and ABC Hobart’s Facebook at 11.30am.
WHAT ELSE TO DO AT HOME ON ANZAC DAY
At 7.30pm on Anzac Day, Channel 9 will air Music From The Home Front, a concert organised by music industry figure Michael Gudinski and Aussie rocker Jimmy Barnes who leads the stellar line-up of performers.
Meanwhile, the Australian War Memorial has published instructions on its website for assembling poppies and remembrance wreaths, playing two-up and making Anzac biscuits.
You can take a virtual walk around some of the Anzac battle sites in Gallipoli with the Anzac Walk Audio Tour.
Celeste* and I have finished our crafternoon making a wreath for #lightupthedawn on Saturday.
*stuck down 2 green squares and left me with instructions to complete pic.twitter.com/ckbekXHNsT
— Anika Wells MP (@AnikaWells) April 22, 2020
If you feel like expressing your support and thoughts to Australian troops, you can send an email to email@example.com.
“Emails sent to deployed personnel are distributed widely and are very much appreciated by Australian Defence Force members on operations,” the Australian Defence Force says.
You might be home this Anzac Day, but you can still enjoy time with friends and family. Jump on a video call and play our Anzac Day quiz or set up your own game of virtual two-up.
— Aust War Memorial (@AWMemorial) April 23, 2020
For those in a financial position to donate, there is the Anzac Appeal to support veterans and their families.
You can also record a short video of you or a family member reciting The Ode and upload it to social media with the hashtag #ForTheFallen to join a growing archive of tributes.