The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked the first cancellation of traditional ANZAC Day services since World War 2 across the globe.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has encouraged Australians to make this year’s ANZAC Day one to be remembered “for a very long time”.
Mr Morrison acknowledged that Saturday’s commemorations would “like none any of us have ever experienced” due to social distancing restrictions introduced to tackle Australia’s Covid-19 crisis.
Australians have been encouraged to participate in the Returned Services League’s (RSL) “Light Up The Dawn” initiative at 6am, following the War Memorial’s national commemorative service telecast around the country from 5.30am. People are expected to gather in their driveways, on their balconies or at their front gates to “Light up the Dawn”. It represents an incredible social movement initiated by a group of volunteers called “Aussies and Kiwis for ANZACs” to enable everyone to pay their respects whilst observing social distancing rules brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
An app has also been released on both Android and Apple, that will feature a virtual candle and synchronised playing of The Last Post at precisely 6am so everyone can virtually stand side-by-side to show their respects.
For Australians living overseas and wanting to pay their respects in the UK, The Australian High Commission will stream services on Friday evening at 8.30pm and repeated at dawn in the UK. On Saturday morning at 11.00am, there will also be a special commemoration service hosted by the High Commissioner for Australia and the Acting High Commissioner for New Zealand from their respective homes in the UK.
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