They shall grow not old, as we who are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Anzac Day is marked on the 25th of April and is a day all Australians and New Zealanders come together in remembrance. It’s a day to commemorate our people that served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.
Last year was heartbreaking for many, as we had to show our respects in quite a different way to any other year. Dawn services and Anzac Day marches were cancelled, and we had to find new ways to mark the day. This year will again see some changes to commemorations. While many dawn services are currently planned to go ahead, limits to capacity may be changed to keep us safe. So, if it’s safe in your territory or state, feel encouraged to go back to the Shrine to pay your respects. If it’s not possible, or you just prefer to play it safe, here are a few other ways you can pay your respects.
Light up the Dawn
The pandemic taught us to find new ways of doing things, and Anzac Day was no exception. Last year, to pay respects while keeping safe from the virus, Aussies came together (while still in their bubbles) to “Light up the Dawn”. From driveways, balconies, or at the front gate, the country stood united at 6:00am to let our veterans know their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten. With the pandemic not yet behind us, this new tradition – at least for the moment – is set to continue for 2021. Check with your local RSL for participation kits and a downloadable service, or simply stream the Last Post from YouTube here.
In 2020, poppies of all sizes appeared on letterboxes, in windows and on front doors around the country. This not only gave kids at home an educational art project, but brightened the streets with this symbolic Anzac flower. Pandemic aside, creating a poppy for your home is a fun family activity which is here to stay. Check out Pinterest for some craft inspiration – you’ll find everything from DIY wreaths through to red cupcake liners or egg cartons used to create a masterpiece.
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash
Wear a poppy with pride
Wearing an artificial poppy is a traditional act that commemorates those who died for their country. Poppies are sold throughout the country by volunteers, with donations used to provide financial, social, and emotional support to members and veterans of the armed forces. Poppies should be worn on the left side, over the heart and carefully affixed with a pin that doesn’t obstruct the poppy. You can now purchase environmentally friendly hand-knitted poppies too!
Plant an online tribute
For a poppy with staying power, plant a poppy virtually in The RSL Poppy Appeal Remembrance Garden. By making a donation, you’re invited to plant a virtual poppy in honour of those that served, including a message if you wish. You can go back at any time and search for your poppy, read stories of others, or just watch the garden grow.
The soft-but-crunchy deliciousness of the Anzac biscuit is hands down the tastiest part of Anzac Day! Whipping up some of these tasty morsels as part of a fundraising effort is a great way to give back to the community and have fun while you’re at it. Get the kids involved in the kitchen by baking the perfect Anzac biscuit (try this recipe), and encourage the kids to get selling for charity. Whether it’s to neighbours (from a safe distance) or in your own home, they’ll be sure to fly off the plate.
Remember the days gone by
It’s important to keep the memories alive of what our relatives sacrificed for us to live a free and safe life today. Younger generations are less likely to have a direct link or understanding of what distant family members went through, so photos, stories. medals, or memorabilia are invaluable for bringing this to life. Last year, our First National leaders shared their stories and a bit about what Anzac Day means to them, here.
Tune in from home
Without parades planned again this year in some states like Melbourne and Hobart, it’s likely you’ll be able to safely watch this year’s services from the safety of your living room. Commemorative services are currently planned to take place at the Australian War Memorial, observing COVID guidelines. Details will be made public here.
We quickly learnt in 2020 that there are many ways to keep the Anzac spirit alive without necessarily coming together. While we may not all be able to attend dawn services or marches again this year, consider incorporating one of the above into your day of remembrance.
The team at First National Real Estate recognise the sacrifices made by our many servicemen and women, in the defence of our country. We observe Anzac Day as a mark of respect and say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all those in service both living and in memory. Lest we forget.