I don’t know about you, but the idea that some of our war heroes may miss their last chance to be applauded and cheered for as they proudly march through the streets breaks my heart.
ANZAC day is arguably the most important national day of celebration in our calendar and this year it’s going to have to take a whole new form to help us honour the heroic men and women who have fought for our country in one way or another.
The silver lining, though, is that it’s never been easier for you to show your support. Here’s a list of different ways you can have an ANZAC day at home that will prove the ANZAC spirit is alive and well and we’ve never been more grateful for the sacrifice of our ANZACs.
Light Up the Dawn
RSLs across Australia have joined forces to promote lighting up the dawn from your driveway. At 6am on ANZAC day stand at the end of your driveway (or even outside on your balcony if you’re in a unit) and hold a lit candle. If you (or someone in your family or neighbourhood) has the musical ability to play the last post then you’re encouraged to do so. There are recordings you can play here or you can simply listen to a commemorative service.
Watch the proceedings
Though there won’t be any events held for the public, there’ll still be plenty of national coverage that you can watch online. Here are some key times for Sydney-siders:
10am: The commemorations at Sydney’s Hyde Park will be broadcast.
11:30am: A traditional ANZAC reflection including The Ode, The Last Post and one minute’s silence will be live-streamed on local ABC radio channels.
“Visit” an ANZAC memorial
Bake a batch of ANZAC biscuits
What is ANZAC day without ANZAC biscuits? Here’s a safe bet for a classic and yummy ANZAC biscuits recipe. If you need something a bit more specific like a gluten-free or vegan recipe or want to extend your ANZAC baking further with an ANZAC slice or a cupcake recipe, then head to this fabulous list of ANZAC recipes by The Organized Housewife instead.
Give your kids a lesson in ANZAC history
If you’re home-schooling (or even just trying to promote some educational screen-time) use this great collection of ANZAC videos to help kids from year 3 to year 10 learn more about the history of ANZAC day, mateship, memories, sacrifice and why it’s important to remember and honour our veterans. For younger kids there’s a complete lesson here on why ANZAC day is “A Very Special Day.” And there are even more great ANZAC lesson ideas to be found here.
Read ANZAC stories
If you have any ANZAC-based books at home, or can get your hands on any of these books before ANZAC day, its a lovely tradition to read to little kids about the ANZACs in language that was intended especially for them, and there are also books on this list that older kids can read to themselves. If you’re not able to get a physical copy of an ANZAC book, then you can still read one of these ANZAC e-books that cover important topics like audacity, comradeship and devotion.
Write a letter to our troops
Your kids may not realise that many men and women still spend months away from their family to help defend our country. Help them grasp this concept by having them write a letter to current serving troops and let them know how much it would mean to anyone away from their families to receive a kind letter from them.
Focus on ANZAC-themed arts and crafts
Use some of these simple and creative craft ideas to make ANZAC poppies or an ANZAC wreath that you can use to decorate your letterbox or windows to encourage the ANZAC spirit in your kids and proudly show your support in your neighbourhood.
Explore some Online Exhibitions
Take an in-depth look at some of the lesser-seen aspects of soldier-life by viewing this great range of online exhibitions from all over the country.
Have a family game of 2-up
In a crushing blow to most fun-loving Aussies, 2-up (a traditional ANZAC game that you probably all know) involves a lot of close contact and money changing hands, and will not be going ahead in any public setting. You can, however, play it with whoever you live with. So if you have a family of four or more you might still be able to get a game going. You can play with Monopoly money or other fake currency instead of real money if you prefer and nominate a prize eg. that the winner gets out of doing their chores for a day. Here are some instructions in case you need them.
Make a donation
If you’re in a position to do so at this time, showing your support through a financial donation, bequest or pledge helps to maintain War Memorials and hold ANZAC services that keep these important memories alive year after year.
Share your experience
Let the continued importance of this patriotic day be felt across the world by sharing whatever it is you do on ANZAC day across social media. Record your dawn experience, post photos of your children’s creations and share photos and memories of family members who did their part to defend our country.
It’s never been easier to show your support for our ANZACs and we hope you and your families take this opportunity to make it a very special day that recognises the sacrifice of the brave people who fought to make our country great.