WORDS BY RENAE BERRY
The human spirit is stronger than ever, and with that strength and solidarity, even socially isolated, together we can and will adapt, survive and thrive in the face of this current uncertain challenge. Humans have survived wars, plagues, disease, nuclear attacks- humans have even survived humans from terrorism to the holocaust.
During the darkest of times, we have stories of survival that have given us hope and faith. These stories light the way forward one step at a time. They are stories of enormous risk, extremely physical, emotional, mental, spiritual feats, yet still filled with belief for love and insurmountable persistence, they are dripping with positivity and infused with instinct, and most notably the human calling for connection, for helping, giving and being of service to our fellow human beings.
COVID-19 cannot take our strength, spirit, hope or faith away from us, and whilst it will require us to adapt and change, this is a time we can to adjust together, drawing on old stories of strength to find new ways to remember and commemorate.
Dawn is still dawn even when there may be dark days ahead. On April 25, dawn is the important time we spend honouring our Anzacs in recognition of the nearly 60,000 Australian soldiers, over 8,500 New Zealand soldiers and 85,000 Turkish soldiers who were involved in the battle at Gallipoli. At dawn, we remember and honour the legacy of those who lost their lives and those who survived. Since the first, the dawn service has evolved and grown to include remembrance for all those who have lost their lives and served in wars. We remember the wars so as to never forget the immeasurable worth of life.
This ANZAC day, services and marches have been affected by restrictions put in place in the wake of COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean an end to commemoration. Wherever you may be at 6 am on Saturday 25th April 2020, you can participate by getting up and going to the end of your driveway or even host an online service with your family and friends.
– While you’re standing there, in quiet service of your own, you can:
- Smile and wave to your neighbour
- Stay standing
- Tune in to ABC for the live event broadcast
- Listen or read the ODE
- Remove your hats – if you are dressed in uniform or wearing a hat
- Listen or play the Last Post
- Take two minutes silence
- Sing or play the Australian National Anthem
- Sing or play the New Zealand National Anthem
Additionally, your local Returned Services League (RSL) is an important support organisation for men and women who have served or are serving in the Defence Force and a good source for your ANZAC day efforts. A donation to the RSL will help them in their mission to ensure the well-being of their members who are typically an aging population and rely on the care and support the RSL provides.
Another way to support the welfare of both returned servicemen and all our elderly is to post a note through their letterbox, check in on them, get their mobile number and if you are off to the pharmacy, text them and see if they need anything. If you are able to buy two packets of pasta, why not give one to them? These seemingly small acts of kindness go a long way to the health and emotional wellbeing of our elderly and those in need, and if all you can do is a friendly smile, a wave and a shout out, then please do.