Wednesday, 22 April 2020
ANZAC Day is one of the most important dates on our nation’s calendar, but this year it will be very different.
To protect the community from the COVID-19 pandemic, health authorities have suspended public gatherings, including traditional ANZAC marches and commemoration services, to ensure social distancing is maintained.
That being said, now more than ever during this crisis, we as a nation need to tap into that spirit of mateship, resilience, humour and ingenuity which has immortalised the ANZAC legend.
Despite the COVID-19 restrictions it is important we find ways to commemorate this significant occasion. On Saturday, on behalf of the people of the Northern Tablelands, I will be laying a wreath at the cenotaph in Armidale’s Central Park, paying my respects to all service men and women, past and present, from our region.
While laying a wreath is not an option for everyone this year, I do encourage locals to take part in the ‘Light up the Dawn’ initiative. At 6am on Saturday you can light a candle on the end of your driveway, in your living room, or on your balcony as a sign of respect.
An Order of Service has been recorded by the RSL, which can be played during this moment of reflection. It includes The Ode, The Last Post, a minute’s silence and the Reveille and can be accessed at www.rslqld.org
Special services will be televised from Canberra at 5.30am and Sydney at 10am. The services will be broadcast live on ABC TV and streamed on the ANZAC Memorial and RSL Facebook pages.
You can find other creative ways to commemorate ANZAC Day at home here: www.anzacportal.dva.gov.au/commemoration/personal-commemorations
My thoughts go out to our local return service men and women and their families, as well as the descendants of those who fought in past conflicts. I also want to acknowledge all our region’s RSL Sub-Branches for the work they do supporting their community.
We are a resilient and brave region and we always pull together when times are tough.
This Saturday let’s show our ANZAC spirit and honour the pledge that we will still remember them.
Lest We Forget.