Australia

Calls for Australians to honour Anzacs from driveways, porches after service cancellations

Participants marching down Elizabeth Street during the annual ANZAC Day march in Sydney, Thursday, April 25, 2019 Source: AAP

With most public Anzac Day services either cancelled or significantly scaled back due to COVID-19, an idea that would see Australians mark the occasion from their own homes is gathering momentum.

Australians are being called to honour Anzac Day by standing at the end of their driveways for a minute's silence after public events were cancelled across the nation.

RSL Queensland says the display would send a powerful message of solidarity to Australia's defence community after Anzac Day services, events and parades were cancelled amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

People can safely commemorate a different kind of dawn service by standing on their driveway or balcony at 6am and uniting in the Anzac spirit, RSL Queensland State President Tony Ferris said on Wednesday.

"This is an idea that has gathered momentum on social media, and we agree it's a brilliant way to collectively honour the dedication, commitment and sacrifice of our service people," he said.

Mr Ferris said the qualities evoked by the Anzac spirit - ingenuity, humour, endurance, courage and mateship - are more important than ever in times of uncertainty.

"Regardless of the form this year's Anzac Day commemorations take, let's show that Australians will always remember those who have served and sacrificed for this nation," he said.

RSL Victoria says it also supports the idea and is calling for people to mark the occasion using the #standto hashtag.

“To ‘stand to’ is to get ready for battle,” CEO Jamie Twidale told Nine Radio.

“We would ask that people watch the live stream service from the Shrine [of Remembrance] and then go out into their driveways or from their balcony. Whatever is appropriate.”

Some Australians have taken to social media to voice their support for the idea.

A Facebook group called ‘Aussies & Kiwis for ANZACS’, which was created to “persuade [members] to hold their own dawn service on the porch of their home”, on Wednesday had amassed over 60,000 members. 

Additional reporting by AAP. 

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