How are we remembering Remembrance Day in 2020?

Michael Weaver 10 November 2020
Poppies at the AWM

A field of red poppies at the Australian War Memorial. Photos: File.

Remembrance Day tomorrow – 11 November – will be commemorated with a minute’s silence as it has been since it was first observed in 1919, but restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic mean that people in the region won’t be able to gather as usual.

Instead, the Australian War Memorial will hold a televised national ceremony in the Captain Reg Saunders Courtyard of the Memorial from 10:45 am until midday.

The ceremony will not be open to the public but will be broadcast live across Australia by the ABC and streamed online.

The 2020 Remembrance Day National Ceremony will retain traditional elements such as one minute’s silence at 11:00 am, the laying of wreaths by invited dignitaries, the sounding of the Last Post, and a commemorative address by Corporal Daniel Keighran VC.

Memorial director Matt Anderson encouraged people to tune into the broadcast and take the time to reflect on this important day.

“At the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day of the eleventh month each year, as a nation, we pause to contemplate the sacrifice of all who have died in the service of our nation.

“While we are unable to welcome the general public to this year’s ceremony, I urge all Australians to share this moment with us through the ABC broadcast or online from wherever they are at 11:00 am on Remembrance Day,” Mr Anderson said.

The Memorial will remain closed on the morning of 11 November and will reopen to the public after the ceremony.

During the afternoon, the Last Post ceremony, featuring the recitation of the Eulogy for the Unknown Australian Soldier by a member of the Australian Defence Force, will take place at 4:55 pm and will also be streamed online.

The Memorial will open the commemorative area from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm where visitors can pay their respects and visit the Hall of Memory. Visitors do not need to book a ticket for the after-hours visit but will need to provide name and contact details for contact tracing purposes.

More information on Remembrance Day activities is on the Memorial’s website. You can also find out how to commemorate the day in your area through your local RSL club.

Field of red poppies.

People will still be able to pay their respects on Remembrance Day.

Soldier On, the organisation that raises awareness about the experiences of modern-day veterans and the issues they face, will hold its third annual Stronger Together campaign.

The 24-hour unique fundraising initiative to support Australian contemporary veterans and their families began at 10:00 am this morning (10 November), when all public donations made to Soldier On will be matched by a host of the charity’s corporate partners.

Soldier On Australia’s CEO Ivan Slavich said the campaign will ensure all defence families across Australia are supported as best as they can be, especially through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s no secret that 2020 has been a tough year for all Australians. We have relied on the support of many of our servicemen and women – and in-turn their families – during these times. Now it’s time for the Australian public to show their gratitude,” Mr Slavich said.

“As a community, Australia needs to ensure that our veterans and their families are adequately supported. They need us to show our support and come together so they’re stronger and stay connected.

“This campaign presents the ideal opportunity for Australians to show their gratitude to those who have fought in our nation’s defence, because every dollar donated will be doubled during the 24-hour campaign.”

You can find about more about the campaign on the Soldier On website.

For more information on Remembrance Day, including the live stream, visit the AWM.

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (formerly VVCS) is Australia’s leading provider of high-quality mental health assessment and clinical counselling services for Australian veterans and their families. To learn more about Open Arms’ free, confidential 24-hour counselling service, including your eligibility, call 1800 011 046.


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