By the 1920s, ANZAC Day had been named an official public holiday in every state and territory, and by the 1930s, many people across Australia believed it was important to pass the ANZAC spirit to future generations. As a consequence, celebrations of ANZAC Day became more widespread and increased even further following World War 2. However, although there was an increasing number of veterans in Australia by the 1960s, services began to decline.
ANZAC Day memorials are important times for us to remember those who sacrificed so much for freedom, and those who were lost
In the 1980s and 1990s, younger returned veterans taking on leadership positions led to a resurgence of ANZAC Day celebrations. The Commonwealth and state governments added their support to these celebrations, strengthening them further.
Traditionally, the first commemorative event each ANZAC Day is the "Dawn Service" at 4:30am, the approximate time the ANZAC troops approached the beach at Gallipoli. In many parts of Australia, this is followed by a "gunfire breakfast", remembering the early cup of tea servicemen were served before going on their first parade of the day.
ANZAC Day memorials remember all who were lost, including service animals
Across Australia, people have traditionally engaged in ANZAC Day marches. Although veterans who had seen active service were the original participants in this march, many Australians now take part including members of scouts and girl guides, cadets, and school children.
ANZAC Day services have traditionally drawn members across each community
The last time ANZAC Day services were officially cancelled was 1919 during the Spanish Influenza pandemic. This year, due to the COVID19 pandemic, ANZAC Day services as they have been known in the past have been cancelled. However, the day will still be marked, and our veterans remembered. Councils across Australia are inviting residents to take part in "Driveway Last Posts" at 6am on 25 April 2020. Radio services will play the Last Post, traditionally a bugle call that marked the end of the day and was incorporated into memorial services as a final farewell. Residents who are able to play musical instruments are also invited to join in and play the Last Post live on their driveways.
Retired Services Leagues across Australia are inviting residents to celebrate ANZAC Day on their driveways at 6am
These unique social distancing services have the potential to remind each of us how much we truly remain together during this time, and will no doubt themselves be remembered by many for years to come.
ANZAC Day during the pandemic will still be a time of remembrance, respect, and quiet reflection as we celebrate apart and yet together