Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional ANZAC Day dawn services have been cancelled for the first time since World War 2.
Western Australians are encouraged to stay at home and pay tribute to the men and women who served and sacrificed their lives for our country in a more personal way.
'ANZAC' stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. ANZAC Day is recognised on 25 April every year to commemorate the landing of Australian and New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. The battle at Gallipoli saw mass casualties and resulted in the deaths of over 8,000 Australian soldiers.
In issuing a reminder that the Kings Park War Memorial service is cancelled, Premier Mark McGowan acknowledged the impact of cancelling the services usually held each year at 6:00am all around Australia, New Zealand and at Gallipoli.
“This year we need to stay home to keep our communities safe from COVID-19 – I know this will be hard for many of us, but for the safety of everyone please do not attend any public memorials,” Premier McGowan said.
“This in no way diminishes the meaning and importance of ANZAC Day to Western Australians. There are many other ways to pay our respects.”
The Returned and Services League Western Australia (RSLWA) is urging Western Australians to take part in a ‘home’ ANZAC Day Dawn Service by lighting a candle and standing at the end of their driveways, or on their balconies, in quiet contemplation at 5.55am on Saturday 25 April.
At about 5.55am, ABC Radio and ABCTV will broadcast The Last Post, followed by a minute of silence as part of the National Memorial Service program by the Australian War Memorial.
At 11.30am, ABC Radio and ABCTV will also broadcast a two-minute reflection which will include The Ode and The Last Post, followed by a minute of silence.
“Every ANZAC Day, we pause to remember those who fought and died since that day in 1915 and to honour those who have defended our values and freedoms, in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations,” Minister for Veterans Affairs Peter Tinley said.
“In 2020, in these most unusual circumstances, we can still pause and we can still remember.”
"They shall grow not old, as we that 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.”
Lest we forget.
More information on the traditions of ANZAC Day can be found on the Australian Army’s website.