We, the descendants, will remember them.
For those who are unable to join commemorations in person due to ill-health or circumstance, the past year has shown there are many other ways to show your respects on Anzac Day.
These five alternatives will endure in the future as we continue to adjust to life during COVID-19.
1. Light Up the Dawn
Introduced in 2020 as part of COVID-restricted commemorations, the national RSL has endorsed the Light Up the Dawn campaign as one of the best ways to recognise Anzac Day at home. The initiative calls on Australians to commemorate our veterans at a local cenotaph Dawn Service or to venture to the edge of their driveway, front yard or balcony to observe a minute’s silence at 6am.
You can also light a candle, carry a torch or ‘plant’ fabric Anzac poppies in the garden. Also, sharing a small post on social media to pay tribute to veterans and current personnel can be done by using the #lightupthedawn hashtag. Those who have taken part fondly remember seeing the community come together for a moment of solidarity in a troubling time.
2. Join the Last Post Project
Another product of the lockdown-era Anzac situation, The Last Post Project invites musicians throughout the country to join in a group chorus. Similar to the Light Up the Dawn initiative, this commemorative act urges musicians to play the Last Post separately, but in unison in their driveways at dawn on Anzac Day.
Individuals, groups, bands and schools playing any instrument are welcome to join in the initiative, creating a full gamut of musician recognition. You can also register to receive a personalised sponsorship page, with all money raised to be donated to veterans’ charities, along with access to workshops and resources. If you aren’t musically inclined yourself, you can sponsor a musician.
3. Donate to the Anzac Appeal
Share your support for returning servicemen and women by donating to the Anzac Appeal. It’s a particularly important initiative, as many veterans have done it tough during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and recession.
You can donate to the Anzac Appeal online or in person by buying a commemorative poppy or badge from an RSL volunteer. A number of volunteers are going cashless, so make sure to take your credit or debit card along and give generously to a good cause.
4. Tune into a tribute concert
Music From the Home Front helps to raise support, awareness and funds for returning servicemen and women, while also providing some much needed entertainment.
5. Livestream a Dawn Service
If you want to do your part and socially distance on Anzac Day, you can still get involved in a dawn service. You can livestream the dawn service from the Shrine of Remembrance at the venue’s official website. The service traditionally starts at 5:40am and is also broadcast on ABC TV.
From there, the traditional march begins at 9:30am and is livestreamed on your state’s RSL website and simulcast on ABC TV.