This years ANZAC day will be like no other, with formal ceremonies cancelled for the first time since World War II due to COVID-19. As we grapple with this new world of isolation, a grassroots movement commemorate Australian and New Zealand service men and women on ANZAC day has been endorsed by WA RSL and RSL's across Australia. We are encouraged to stand in quiet contemplation outside our homes at dawn on April 25. The unique tribute, which promotes the spirit of mateship while social distancing, is planned to take place across the nation.
On ANZAC day, in 1915, a group of volunteer Australian and New Zealand soldiers found themselves wading ashore before dawn at a small beach on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey. Many of these men were only teenagers, some as young as 16. Over the next eight harrowing months 36,000 Australian and New Zealand soldiers were killed or wounded at Gallipoli.
The ANZAC spirit forged at Gallipoli will never be forgotten. The experience drew Australians together as a nation and established our national character. Through their experience, we know we have the ability to face challenges together and overcome them, to put community before self, to be courageous, determined, self-reliant and strong. We should be proud of our heritage, of the spirit of the ANZAC; the spirit that we pass to the next generation; the spirit we embody now to overcome the biggest challenge our generation will (hopefully) ever face.
This ANZAC day I am aiming to muster our household for the coming of the dawn; in this time of our great challenge, lest we forget those who faced more and worst who went before us.