Today’s ANZAC Day Dawn Service has been a very different one with self isolation the order of the day. No gatherings at local Cenotaphs, no Gunpowder breakfasts, no soldiers marching proudly along the high street with their service medals on their chest.
This morning we took to our driveways and balconies together listening to the service on our devices from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, together listening to the Ode, the bugles playing across the suburbs. Together we said Lest We Forget.
Despite the social distancing there have been aspects of this ANZAC Day that have made it special. Different though special.
Teddy Bears in windows were accompanied by red poppies crafted by Little People as part of homeschooling. There was evidence of poppies tied to letterboxes and one front garden was a sea of poppies made from red plastic plates. Not solemn perhaps but a simple lesson in how to pass on our history.
Last night I participated in an online clay poppy candle holder class and slept under the stars in the back yard as a fundraiser for Wounded Heroes who at a grassroots level assist our most marginalised exservice personnel and their families.
The local Museum has not only shared the history of our early pioneers who went to War, but also recipes that were favourites in days such as ANZAC Biscuits and Damper On A Stick which I’ll be having with barbeque.
Stories shared online have been numerous with so many causing a tear in the eye. The 100 year old Kokoda Track Digger who has never missed an Anzac Day being given a personal drive by in a WW2 jeep, the Changi Concert Band pianist who at 98 played alongside a professional brass band at his nursing home, and Captain Tom Murray. Captain Murray who not only raised millions to assist battling Brits, and who received a letter of thanks from 104 year old Vera Lynn. Pass me the tissues, will you please.
There seems to have been so much more this ANZAC Day – or maybe we’ve just had more time to listen. There have been concerts streamed, there has been poetry and artwork shared, there has been so much connectedness involved.
For those who have gone before us, and for those who follow : Lest We Forget.