Aussies Plan To Hold Mini Anzac Day Dawn Service In Their Driveways
With planned Anzac Day services around the country cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic, Australians have been looking at other ways they can commemorate the day.
A post shared online just one day ago quickly went viral and gained hundreds of thousands of shares, proposing one simple way Aussies can still take part in a traditional Anzac Day dawn service.
The post suggested Australians stand at the end of their driveways at 5.55am on Anzac Day to share a minute of silence with their neighbours and people around the nation.
Thousands of people have shared their support for the suggestion online, while a public Facebook Group -- 'Aussies and Kiwi's For ANZACS' -- created just 24 hours ago has already gained more than 64,000 followers.
"This group has been created to persuade our nations to hold their own dawn service on the porch of their home, this Anzac Day 2020," the group's description reads.
"This will honour our veterans and build community spirit during the ban on events that are currently in place."
The suggestion has even gained the support of RSL Queensland, which also called for Australians to stand in their driveways or on their balconies for a minute of silence on April 25 at 6am.
RSL Queensland State President Tony Ferris said the display of solidarity seen online for the idea would "send a powerful message of support to Australia's Defence community".
"We agree it's a brilliant way to collectively honour the dedication, commitment and sacrifice of our service people -- even though we cannot physically be together,” Ferris said.
“This Anzac Day, I’d like to see all Australians participate in a different kind of Dawn Service, an intimate reflection conducted on a mass scale that unites us all in the ANZAC spirit.”
The federal government and the RSL confirmed earlier this week that the decision had been made to cancel Anzac Day services, with large mass gatherings now capped at 500 for outdoors and 100 indoors under new social-distancing measures.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was a difficult decision, because Anzac Day was "one of, if not the most, important day of the year for Australians."
In a statement on Wednesday, the Acting President of RSL NSW Ray James said no public Anzac Day commemorations should take place across the state, both in the lead-up to and on the day.
“The risk with large gatherings to members and the general public is too great," James said.
“We are considering televising a small, private service under strict conditions. This is to ensure ANZAC traditions and solemn recognition can be appropriately observed."
The Australian War Memorial in Canberra said a private, nationally televised commemorative service would go ahead, despite the cancellation of the traditional Dawn Service, National Ceremony and veterans' march.
"The event will not be open to the public but will be broadcast live across Australia by the ABC and streamed online," it said in a statement on Wednesday.
Australian-led overseas commemoration services have been cancelled, including at Gallipoli in Turkey and Villers-Bretonneux in France.