A Different ANZAC Day

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.


Dawn Services across Australia have been cancelled due to the current worldwide health situation.

ANZAC Day, April 25th, commemorates the campaign by Australian, New Zealand and other Allied troops in 1915 to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey. The Dawn Service forms a major part of this day with thousands gathering in the early hours – the time of the original Gallipoli landing – at memorials across the country to remember those who have served, or whom are serving, for the protection of our nation.

The Dawn Service, regardless of the number of attendees or whether being held in a small, rural township or at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, is a moving ceremony. Interestingly, in spite of the passing years the Dawn Service is gaining in popularity.

This year is a strange one. Droughts, Bushfires, Floods and…. everything else.

The son of a Vietnam Veteran recently put it out there that Australians could still attend a Dawn Service despite the fact that we’re all in social distance mode. It’s a concept that has gained momentum and now acceptance by the Returned Services League.

At 5:55am this Anzac Day Australians will be coming together to meet the new day, lighted candle in hand, on the footpaths outside their homes, or on their balconies. The Last Post will come across the radio.

Cop that Covid-19. We ain’t broke yet!


A little activity to keep the Little People (and myself) occupied :