Right now we are facing the most significant challenge and threat to our way of life since the Second World War. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live, and it will change how we observe one of our nation’s most sacred days this year — Anzac Day.
There will be no marches, no parades and no gunfire breakfasts or games of two-up at your local RSL, but Anzac Day has not been cancelled and we will continue to pause this year to honour our servicemen and women.
Australians are at their best when we come together to support one another and while we cannot physically gather to commemorate the service and sacrifice of our Defence personnel, we can show them our respect.
Whether it’s a solitary driveway tribute, baking Anzac biscuits, a small ceremony with your household, sharing a message for our service personnel, or watching the televised service from the Australian War Memorial on the morning of 25 April, I encourage everyone to pause, reflect and say a simple ‘thank you for your service’.
Teach your children about the importance of the day and the service of the original ANZACs as well as the service of the almost two million Australians who have served over more than a century.
Think of those who are currently serving, both in Australia and abroad.
And reflect on the more than 102,000 who have died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations whose names are inscribed on the walls of the Australian War Memorial.
Anzac Day is now more important than ever and we will remember them.
Lest we forget.
The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel