ANZAC Day in Sydney
ANZAC Day on April 25 is a national day of remembrance and commemoration. This solemn day remembers all Australians who have served and died in war and on operational service. The 25th marks the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps 1915 landing at Gallipoli, Turkey in World War I.
Despite the cancellations, there are still many ways you can commemorate this important day from home:
- Watch the Dawn Service live from the Australian National War Memorial in Canberra on the ABC from 5.30am. A service will also be broadcast from the Anzac Memorial in Sydney at 10am.
- Light up the dawn with the RSL. At 6am, stand at the end of your driveway, on your balcony or at your window and share a moment of silence in honour of the Anzacs. The RSL Anzac Spirit website and a number of radio stations will stream a commemorative service.
- Send an email to support members of the Australian Defence Force who are currently serving at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Take a virtual walk around some of the Anzac battle sites in Gallipoli with the Anzac Walk Audio Tour.
- Learn about the experiences of Australians during wartime through the online collection at the Australian National War Memorial.
- Get the kids involved and bake Anzac biscuits, make poppies and learn about their significance, read some wartime poetry or listen to The Last Post.
- Listen to Music From The Home Front. This live concert starts at 7.30pm on Channel 9 and features Ben Lee, Birds of Tokyo, Delta Goodrem, Jimmy Barnes, Missy Higgins, Paul Kelly, Vance Joy and more.
- Share your experiences or memories on social media using the hashtags #anzacathome and #anzacspirit
Find more information on the Anzac Portal website.
The ANZAC Day service
Initially, ANZAC Day was a day to remember those who served in WWI. However, the date has now become a day to remember all Australians and New Zealanders who have served in conflicts across the globe. The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
Customarily, dawn services, wreath-laying, veteran marches and commemorative services are held across Sydney and NSW. The main Dawn Service is usually held in Martin Place at The Cenotaph, which was sculpted by Sir Bertram Mackennal and unveiled in 1929.
However due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year there will be a nationally televised Anzac Day commemorative service instead, held at 5.30am on Anzac Day. This will be broadcast live across Australia on the ABC and online.
The dawn service offers quiet contemplation, accompanied by the bugle call of the Last Post and The Ode of Remembrance, an excerpt from English poet Laurence Binyon's moving poem, For the Fallen, which was first published in The Times in 1914. The Ode is from the fourth stanza:
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 shall remember them.
Another time-honoured ANZAC Day tradition is two-up games. Its association with the day originates from WWI when Australians played two-up in the trenches and on troop ships. The game involves three or more players, with a designated "spinner" throwing two coins or pennies into the air and players guessing which side the coins will fall.