For the first time since World War II, Anzac Day 2020 will look very different to the traditional dawn services, marches, local memorial services of years gone by. State Member for the Electorate of Cessnock, Clayton Barr MP said while Anzac Day will be vastly different that does not mean that we cannot commemorate, remember and thank our service personnel past and present.
“The foundations of the Anzac Spirit of courage, endurance, community spirit and sacrifice will be on show this Anzac Day as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19”, Clayton Barr MP said.
“To honour those who have sacrificed and fought for us I encourage everyone in the Electorate of Cessnock to unite in front of televisions, computers, tablets and phones to say thank you to our veterans.”
“The past few months have been incredibly tough across the Electorate of Cessnock with bushfires, smoke damage and now the world pandemic COVID-19. What this has shown is how resilient and brave our communities are and that the Anzac Spirit lives on with us as we work together to protect each other” said Clayton Barr MP.
While residents will not be able to attend services in person there will be two services available either online or on ABC television. The day will begin with a 5:30am commemorative service broadcast from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, followed by a NSW service at 10am.
The Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Governor Margaret Beazley, RSL NSW Acting President Ray James, a bugler and a vocalist will take part in the 30 minute service from the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park and the Cenotaph in Martin Place.
Both services will be broadcast live on ABC TV and streamed on the ANZAC Memorial and RSL Facebook pages. The service will not be open to the public and the community is urged to continue following the latest health advice by commemorating at home.
Acting Minister for Veterans Geoff Lee said community safety is our top priority.
“Social distancing and staying home is saving lives and so continuing that trend will keep our community and veterans safe,” Mr Lee said.
“Let’s all unite with that Anzac spirit as we pay our respects at home and remember those who bravely made the ultimate sacrifice for us.”
NSW RSL are encouraging people to share videos reciting The Ode and post messages of support on social media for our veterans, share how you will be commemorating privately as well as who you will be remembering using the #ANZACSpirit.
The NSW RSL is also encouraging Australians to be part of the Light up the Dawn Movement, reach out to a mate on the phone or donate to the Anzac Appeal online – all these can be done from your home.
Residents across the Electorate of Cessnock can also read about local heroes and their stories of heroism, community spirit and sacrifice in Clayton Barr’s annual Anzac booklet which was delivered to homes this week. It is also available here.