Driveway services to unite our nation on Anzac Day
WHILE we may not be able to stand shoulder to shoulder to pay our respects this Anzac Day, Ipswich RSL Sub Branch president Rob Wadley believes a new tradition brought about due to COVID-19 will bring more Australian’s together like never before.
The deadly coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellations of traditional dawn services, national ceremonies and marches right across the country this year – the first time since World War II.
In lieu of mass gatherings, Australians are urged to stand in solidarity at the edge of their driveways at 6am on April 25 to pay tribute to those who have served and sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
That extends from the brave Australian and New Zealand soldiers who landed on the beaches at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, to those who are still serving in the armed forces today.
Mr Wadley said he was pleased to see the nation rallying together to mark an important day in our nation’s history.
“I personally think the driveway services will be much bigger than we thought they would be, and I think it is something that will continue on through the years,” Mr Wadley said.
“It’s a horrible situation (the coronavirus health crisis), but at the same time, something positive has also come out of it.
“Once this virus is over and gone, we will return to services at the commemoration stones, and people will be back for that, but I also think the driveway services will stay on for Anzac Day and Remembrance Day well into the future.
“Everyone I have spoken to have said they will be doing the driveway services.”
Musicians are encouraged to sound The Last Post on either their bugle or trumpet as the dawn breaks on Saturday, or alternatively, play the sombre and moving piece on your phone to mark our national day.
Mr Wadley said while many veterans were “sad and disappointed” Anzac Day services had to be cancelled, they were also empathetic to the reasons why.
“Veterans look forward to the services and marches each year, and the respect that is paid to them, but they also do understand that these are unprecedented situations we are in and we quite prepared to go along with what is the right thing to do,” he said.
Mr Wadley wanted to reiterate while services would not go ahead, anyone wanting to lay a wreath at the commemoration stones outside the RSL building on Nicholas St was welcome to.
“Come anytime and lay a wreath is you wish,” he said.
“If there are other people there, just wait patiently and keep your social distance.”