Anzac Day is held on Saturday, 25th April and this year the day will be marked very differently from previous years. As the whole world is fighting the spread of the COVID-19, Anzac Day events have been cancelled all across the country. It is important, however, that all Australians and New Zealanders still mark the day to commemorate the sacrifice of thousands of ANZACs who have died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. This year, with COVID-19, we have a different enemy to fight.
So what can we do at home to still mark the day? Keep reading for 5 ideas, however, please comment on the bottom of this article if you have more ideas, which mean a lot to you. Let's all come together as a nation and remember this Anzac Day.
Anzac Day will be different this year at the Australian War Memorial - without the public. Image: AWM Facebook
1/ Watch the service on TV. The Australian War Memorial will go ahead with a private, nationally-televised Anzac Day commemorative service, which will be held at 5:30am on Anzac Day. The traditional Dawn Service, National Ceremony and veterans' march will not take place. The event will not be open to the public but will be broadcast live across Australia by the ABC and streamed online. See here for details. There is also a call for people to stand in their driveways all across the country and listen to the service - see here for details.
2/ Put an Australian flag out the front of your house and decorate your car with blue, red and white streamers or green and gold balloons. Let's show our Aussie pride!
3/ Make Anzac Day crafts with your kids and talk to them about the importance of Anzac Day as you make them. Make a poppy out of a paper plate, colour in a wreath, make bravery medals out of cardboard and foil, colour in the Australian flag, make poppies out of red cupcake cases, make your own hand print wreath and create poppies from plastic bottles. See below a YouTube video from Kidspot about how to make an Anzac Day memorial poppy.
4/ Make Anzac biscuits with your family, have a cuppa and discuss how this country would be different without the ANZACs and the Australian wartime effort. The recipe is:
Ingredients: 1 cup plain flour 1 cup rolled oats 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup coconut 125g unsalted butter
2 tbs golden syrup 1 Tbs water 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In a medium bowl, add flour, sugar, rolled oats and coconut. In a saucepan, melt the butter and then add golden syrup and water. Stir the bicarbonate of soda into the liquid mixture. Combine the dry and wet ingredients in the bowl and mix thoroughly. Roll tablespoons of the mixture and place the balls onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Leave to completely cool on the tray.
5/ Visit the Australian War Memorial website and learn more about the story of the ANZACs, the role of indigenous soldiers in wars, Australia's relationship with New Zealand, the uses of animals in war and more. The Museums at Home resource has podcasts, videos, interactive technology and you can even take a virtual visit of the memorial from home! See here for details.
If you have an parent or grandparent who is sitting at home knitting through this pandemic, then why not send them some crochet and knitting patterns to make poppies, from the 5000 Poppies Remembrance Day project. It is a way for us all to feel connected on this one, national day.
These are just some of the ideas that you can do to mark Anzac Day in 2020, however, if you have any more ideas, please leave a comment at the bottom of this article.
Lest we forget.
Make crochet poppies and remember. Image: 5000 Poppies website
While decorating your car sounds like a wonderful idea, some Police Officers may not agree with you, "it is a distraction". Definltely do not try it with Christmas Decorations. I heard about a commercial vehicle driver being pulled over and told to remove it. He was on a country road which was narrow so the driver wanted to go a few km to the next town where he could pull right off the road to do it, especially as ir was very well attached and he didn't just want to rip it off. He was told if he didn't remove it immediately he would be fined
At 6am, for the dawn service, or 11am to stand and Honour those that served in the past with a lit candle of silence, for 1 min. out on your driveway. Your families younger generation will see the significance especially if other neighbours join in.
What about decorating a tree in your front yard with streamers, poppies etc to mark your respect for our returned soldiers and armed services personnel. We could also take photos and share on Facebook, Instagram etc.just a thought.
Great article. It is so important that we don't let this day go by unnoticed. Another idea would be to write a letter to a veteran - contact your local aged care service and see if there is someone who would appreciate receiving a letter from a young one. It is a positive way to continue a sense of community and connection in these isolating times.
Thank you so much for your suggestions. I will definitely be making the Anzac Biscuits and putting them on my family's doorstep.
If they come out all right I would like to do more for my neighbours.
It's good having something to think about about and do at this time. from Brenda