Light Up the Dawn

Residents are being encouraged to participate in the ‘Light up the Dawn’ initiative being supported by RSLs around the country.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne has joined with RSL NSW to encourage everyone to #lightupthedawn.

He also confirmed that two buglers will be playing the Last Post on to the streets at 6am from two of our most historic pubs, the The Royal Leichhardt and the Unity Hall Hotel in Balmain.
“We are calling on locals to stand with a candle, at the end of your driveway, on your balcony, or in your living room at 6am on ANZAC Day, to remember all those who have served and sacrificed,” Mayor Byrne said.
“While we cannot attend any ceremony this year we can still join our neighbours outside our homes to pay our respects to the fallen.
“Every ANZAC Day is a solemn occasion that must be commemorated, but this year, in the midst of a crisis, it’s really vital for us to reflect on the sacrifice of our ancestors and to heed the lessons of the Great War and the Influenza Pandemic that followed it.
“It is also important in this time of separation that we still connect with each other and keep our national rituals alive.”

With the restrictions and challenges posed by COVID-19, the RSL has shared ways Australians can commemorate ANZAC Day, both in the lead-up and the day itself, as the community looks for new and different initiatives to honour the service and sacrifice of our brave servicemen and women past and present.
The RSL hopes these suggestions enable all Australians to commemorate in one or multiple ways, not just on ANZAC Day itself, but in its lead-up. It also hopes that these suggestions will inspire Australians to continue to develop and share other ideas for commemorating and paying their respects for our ANZACS.
Ways You Can Commemorate ANZAC Day 2020:
• Be part of the Community Ode – Record a video of yourself reciting The Ode or sharing a message of support for veterans on your social media. Respond “Going” to RSL’s ANZAC Day 2020 Facebook event. Then use the hashtags #ANZACspirit and #lightupthedawn and share how you’ll be commemorating privately, as well as who you’ll be remembering this ANZAC Day.
• Tune into live services and virtual commemorative services. This includes the 5.30am service from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. There will also be a 10am virtual and streamed service (closed to the public) from the Anzac Memorial in Sydney that will be broadcast live with more details to follow.
• Reach out to a mate or veteran who might be alone. Many people are alone during this time of isolation. It’s an opportunity to invoke the ANZAC value of mateship and check to see how a mate is doing. And if you know a veteran please call or reach out to them, check in on them, thank them for their service and help them if needed during this time.
• Donate to the ANZAC Appeal online at Donations support Australian veterans and their families in need.
In addition to these five suggestions, the RSL acknowledges the wide variety of other ideas being embraced across the country, many of which originated from passionate everyday Australians keen to demonstrate their ANZAC Spirit on a day that belongs to all Australians.
Ray James, Acting President, RSL NSW said: “There’s no doubt that ANZAC Day 2020 will be very different to ANZAC Days of previous years. While we will not be gathering at services or marches, there are still many ways to acknowledge ANZAC Day and ensure Australian servicemen and women are appropriately remembered.”
“Traditional dawn services and marches are just not possible this year, but as with all other Australians right now, we have to change the way we do things, evolve and make the best of our situation. Nothing can ever take away the importance of ANZAC Day or our values of mateship and camaraderie as we honour our service personnel and show our ANZAC Spirit.”
“Now is the time for all of us to show our ANZAC Spirit, including ingenuity, and we welcome the many and varied ideas that have been embraced by the community. Any activity that respectfully shows commemoration and thanks is most welcome.
“This year, as we cannot come together in person, these activities alongside the many other community-generated initiatives are all ways we can come together in our time of commemoration.”

Anzac Service – Balmain – 25.04.2018 Photos by Fiora Sacco copyright reserved 2018