Anzac Day services across the country have been cancelled but Australians are still vowing to show their respect to the fallen, by giving a “light salute” in their own driveways.
The move gained traction last month following a suggestion posted on social media for the traditional Anzac Day commemoration to go ahead in a live broadcast, with people gathering at a set time before dawn in their driveway – or in a window, porch or balcony where they can maintain a safe social distance – with a light or flame to take part in a minute’s silence.
The Australian War Memorial, which attracts thousands to its annual Anzac Day service, national ceremony and traditional veterans’ march, announced last month it would hold a service with no congregation that would be broadcast nationally and streamed live online.
Two Wells RSL president, Tony Flaherty, was understandably disappointed the town’s popular service had to be cancelled, but loved the idea of a “light salute”.
“We’re pretty sad that we can’t do our annual service because it’s a big deal for us every year,” he said.
“We have so many people come here to pay their respects (but) I think this (light salute) is a great idea and I’ll be doing it.
“You don’t have to get dressed up, you can just go to the end of your driveway, or stand on your verandah.
“This is a great way to honour the fallen, and display a show of solidarity.”
Australian-led overseas commemoration services have also been cancelled, including at Gallipoli in Turkey and Villers-Bretonneux in France.
The Anzac day ceremony live stream is scheduled to begin at 5.30am and will be nationally televised on the ABC.