Marking ANZAC Day at home
ANZAC Day 2020 will be like no other. Australians are being encouraged to honour the service and sacrifice of our veterans and serving Defence personnel from home this year. Some Bethanie Aged Care Homes will host ANZAC Day services and activities – while following social distancing rules, but if you live in the community, how can you get involved?
Join the ABC for a live broadcast of the National Memorial Service from the Australian War Memorial on ABCTV, iview, Radio and online from 5.30am. At about 6am, The Last Post will be followed by a minute of silence. Visit the ABC website for more information.
At 6am, participate in the RSL’s #lightupthedawn campaign driveway service by standing on your driveway, in the front yard or on the balcony, with a torch or candle, and observing a minute of silence - while following social distancing rules.
Wear a relative’s medal
If honouring the service of a relative, wear their medals - these should be worn on the right breast. Plus, grab a sprig of rosemary if you grow it. It is traditional on ANZAC Day to wear a sprig of rosemary pinned to a coat lapel or held in place by medals. Rosemary has significance for Australians on ANZAC Day as it grows wild on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Prepare a gunfire breakfast
Once the service is concluded you can create a traditional gunfire breakfast. Gunfire is a British tradition and was the usual term for the early cup of tea served out to troops in the morning before going on first parade, whenever possible. The gunfire breakfast seems to have evolved and comprises of whatever is available at the time - it could be ‘coffee and rum’ or ‘stew, sausage and bread’, or even ‘bacon and eggs’.
Reach out to a mate
Don't forget to reach out to a mate who might be on their own. It's an opportunity to remind us of the ANZAC value of mateship.
Involve the kids
Make a wreath out of rosemary, craft a poppy or bake some delicious ANZAC biscuits. The original ANZAC biscuit, also known as the ANZAC wafer or tile, was a hardtack biscuit or long shelf-life biscuit substitute for bread.
What does ANZAC Day mean to you?
In the lead up to ANZAC Day, we asked ex-serviceman and Bethanie Esprit Retirement Village resident, Glen Stoddart, what ANZAC Day means to him. Glen served in Vietnam from 1966-1967 and is the ex-President of the Bunbury RSL.
“It’s a time of remembrance and I’m honoured to be able to hold the ANZAC service event at Bethanie because of the people I know that didn’t come home – the ones that stayed behind. All we will do this year is raise the flag to half-mast and put the wreath out. My grandson made a couple of poppies, so I will place them around. In terms of COVID-19, it’s something we have no control over – it’s something we have to live with and it (ANZAC Day) will all be there again next year, so we just have to wait. But as with everything, we are adapting. People will go ahead with their kerbside and driveway memorials - it’s wonderful and a lot of people will be participating that way.”
The poppy wreath Glen is holding in the image was crafted by some very clever ladies in the Bethanie Esprit Retirement Village for ANZAC Day this year.