20 April 2021

COVID-19 caps Anzac Day crowds, but we can still commemorate

| Ian Bushnell
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Elderly digger wearing suit with war medallions

Anzac Day will again be different this year due to COVID-19. Photo: Patricia Woods.

The Anzac Day Dawn Service and National Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial may be booked out but Canberrans can still remember the nation’s fallen in other ways.

Due to government COVID-19 advice, the Dawn Service and National Ceremony events will only be accessible to the 4200 and 3000 ticket holders, respectively.

Both commemorations will be held on the Parade Ground of the War Memorial on Sunday, 25 April, and the site will be enclosed by fencing for ticket holder access only and to ensure the safety of those attending.

Visitors will need to present their tickets on the day for access to designated areas.

Anzac Day ceremonies will be broadcast live across Australia by the ABC and online, and a range of resources will also be available through the War Memorial’s website to support people who are commemorating at home.

The War Memorial will extend the Anzac Day commemorations by projecting images from the National Collection onto the facade of the building on the evenings of 23 April and 24 April until midnight. People are also encouraged to lay a floral tribute at the Stone of Remembrance at a time of their choosing.

People can also take part in community-led commemorations across Canberra through the Light Up the Dawn program.

Initiated in 2020 during COVID-19 lockdown, Canberrans can stand at the end of their driveways at dawn with a candle and radio or app for a synchronised playing of The Last Post.

ACT Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services Emma Davidson said this year’s commemorations would be a combination of tradition and innovation so the whole community can participate.

“Whether people are commemorating at home, on their driveway, listening to the bugling of a neighbour, or at the National Service, each of us will be recognising Anzac Day as a community,” she said.

Australian War Memorial director Matt Anderson said the War Memorial has been working closely with the relevant authorities to achieve the right balance between commemorating Anzac Day and ensuring the safety of the broader community.

“Here at the Memorial, we are thankful for the opportunity to welcome more than 7000 veterans, current defence force personnel, dignitaries and community members across both ceremonies in the midst of a global pandemic,” he said.

“We look forward to welcoming the thousands of ticketholders to Anzac Day commemorations at the Memorial, and now encourage people to tune into the national broadcast and livestream of both ceremonies from home, and to participate in the RSL’s Light Up the Dawn initiative from their driveway.”

Following the National Ceremony, the War Memorial galleries will be open to the public. Tickets to the galleries and the daily Last Post Ceremony, including for Anzac Day, are available here.

More information about local ways to commemorate Anzac Day is available at the ACT Government’s Community Services Directorate website.

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16000 at Raiders games.. And this for our true heroes?
Pathetic, weak spineless government.

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