Anzac rethink means we can still salute as one
LAST year more than 20,000 people attended the Anzac Day dawn service at Currumbin's Elephant Rock.
This year at 6am on April 25 they are more likely to be standing for a minute's silence at the end of suburban driveways or on apartment balconies, as RSL Queensland urges everyone to continue to honour this special day in our history and culture.
Anzac Day services across the country have, like so many other events, been cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions on gatherings.
"It's very sad that we are not able to commemorate Anzac Day in time-honoured fashion this year, but a public commemoration is not worth risking the health of our older veterans, family members or members of the general public," said RSL Queensland state president Tony Ferris.
He said this year's simple act of solidarity would show Australia's ongoing support for those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
"This is an idea that has gathered momentum in social media, and we agree it's a brilliant way to collectively honour the dedication, commitment and sacrifice of our service people - even though we cannot physically be together," Mr Ferris said.
"This Anzac Day, I'd like to see all Australians participate in a different kind of dawn service, an intimate reflection conducted on a mass scale that unites us all in the Anzac spirit."
Mr Ferris said that spirit included ingenuity, humour, endurance, courage and mateship, all of which were more important than ever in times of uncertainty such as this.
Nerang RSL sub-branch secretary David Barnicoat said while there was definitely "a very high level of disappointment" that members could not get together with mates, there was no choice.
The common theme in talking to people, he said, was that they would hold their own private remembrances.
Sub-branch members will also dress the cenotaph with poppies and wreaths as usual so that, short of a lockdown being announced, people can stop by throughout the day to pay their respects.
And there is even talk of the RSL developing an app or something similar, including Last Post and Reveille.
Currumbin RSL was still developing plans in late March, stating "it is with great sadness but complete understanding" that Anzac Day commemorations have been cancelled.
Details will be updated as they become available on its website and on Facebook page @CurrumbinRSLClub.
Why a dawn service?
It was as the sun rose on April 25, 1915, that Australian and New Zealand soldiers rowed towards the shores of Gallipoli and into a courageous but fruitless battle during which so many lost their lives, but the Anzac legend was born.
Ever since, as the sun rises on that day, Australians have gathered across the country to remember their legacy and that of those who followed.
Lest We Forget.