Pay respects from home this ANZAC Day

A house front verandah at night with a light on.

Council is encouraging residents to pay respect to those who served this Saturday from their homes to commemorate ANZAC Day.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Richard Higgins, said residents across Yarra Ranges could still pay tribute to those who served Australia in armed forces on 25 April, while respecting COVID-19 social distancing measures currently in place.

“Every year, we’ve seen thousands of community members attend services at dawn and morning marches to remember those who have served in Australia’s armed forces in a heartening display of community spirit,” Cr Higgins said.

“We know that this year will be very different, due to restrictions on public gatherings of more than two people – but we can all still take a moment this Saturday from our homes.

“The Returned Services League (RSL) is encouraging community members to light up the dawn with a torch or candle from their driveway, balcony or living room from 5.45am and to share a minute’s silence.

“Our armed services men and women have done an incredible amount of work, both historically in armed conflicts and in recent months, assisting with the response to bushfires around the country and the current COVID-19 situation.

“Wherever you can, please take a moment to show your support and donate to the ANZAC Appeal if you can.”

The RSL has made an audio file of a Dawn Service that community members can play on Saturday to hold a service in their home.

Cr Higgins said that Council had organised for wreaths to be laid at cenotaphs across Yarra Ranges ahead of ANZAC Day.

“We know that so many people who called the Yarra Ranges home took up the call and enlisted for the First and Second World Wars, and so we have organised for wreaths to be made up by local florists and placed at cenotaphs,” Cr Higgins said.

“We think this is an important tradition to continue – while being mindful of social distancing requirements – and a way that we can support local businesses during this time when events they service have been wound back or cancelled.”

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