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Anzac Day commemorations: we can all be there in spirit

Just five years ago, on its 100th anniversary, record crowds jostled for space at Anzac Day dawn services and marches across Australia.

But in 2020 nothing is safe from Covid-19, not even an event as sacred as Anzac Day remembrance ceremonies.

There will be services of course but because of the coronavirus restrictions everyone will have to turn on their TV to watch them this Saturday, April 25.

And just as national commemorations will be available remotely to the public, so will the local ones across outer South West Sydney.

Campbelltown will come together to commemorate Anzac Day during an online dawn service from 6am.

Council has organised the pre-recorded event in conjunction with the Campbelltown RSL Sub-Branch and will stream the dawn service on Facebook and Instagram.

The service will include messages from local RSL members and community representatives as well as regular features of the Campbelltown Anzac Day Service such as the Ode of Remembrance, the Last Post and Reveille bugle calls, a minute silence and the playing of the Australian and New Zealand national anthems.

The service will begin with a performance of Raise Your Glass by Paul Grierson from Simply Bushed and St Patrick’s College for Girls Campbelltown student Mackenzie McEvoy-King will deliver the commemoration address.

Lest We Forget: Campbelltown RSL sub-branch president Warren Browning and Mayor George Brticevic with council general manager Lindy Deitz at Mawson Park.

“We have worked closely with the Campbelltown Returned Services League Sub-Branch to provide all the elements of a traditional dawn service in an unconventional way so that we can unite and honour our service men and women on this momentous day,” Mayor George Brticevic said.

“Anzac Day is close to the hearts of many in our community who have served or had relatives serve our country,” Cr Brticevic said.

“The story of the Anzac spirit is one of resilience in the face of adversity which is a particularly relevant message in these times,” he said.

The Federal Member for Werriwa, Anne Stanley, has echoed the mayor’s words.

“Anzac Day is a solemn day of remembrance for our community,’’ Ms Stanley said.

“We remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and thank those who have served and currently serve our country and community.

“With social distancing restrictions and closures of many public spaces, Anzac Day can still be celebrated from our homes.’’

Anzac Day Dawn Service in Bigge Park, Liverpool last year.

The national commemorative service will be shown live from the Australian War Memorial, on ABC TV and iView from 5am.

The service will also be live streamed on the Australian War Memorial website (awm.gov.au), and on Facebook and YouTube.

 The Australian War Memorial will also have a number of exhibits online for ANZAC Day commemorations. These can be found at awm.gov.au/AnzacAtHome

“It’s an important day for Australia to remember the sacrifices that have been made, and continue to be made, by people from all walks of life but share one thing – they are all Australian and they have all served Australia.

 “Lest we forget,” Ms Stanley said.

Campbelltown State MP Greg Warren, pictured above, a former veteran himself, said “Australians are famous for facing adversity head-on and coming out the other side”.

“Heading into this year’s Anzac Day commemorations, we find ourselves in an unprecedented and difficult situation that has impacted each and every single one of us,’’ he said.

“This year in honour of those who have served our nation, hop on out of bed, flick on the telly and remember those who gave everything to defend our freedom and our nation.

“This year’s celebrations will be truly unique so let’s embrace it and set a rating records in the process.

“Hopefully, come this time next year, we will be able to attend services and marches in our thousands like usual.

“But this is the hand we have been dealt this year so let’s make the best of the situation,” Mr Warren said.

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