A proposal to replace Anzac Day services cancelled due to social distancing with a nationwide 'light salute' has the backing of RSL official.
A proposal to replace Anzac Day services cancelled due to social distancing with a nationwide 'light salute' has the backing of RSL official.

Plan to honour Diggers from driveways

A proposal to replace cancelled Anzac Day services with a massive nationwide "light salute" from the safety of Australians' driveways is going viral online - and has been supported by one of the most senior RSL officials.

Responding to news that domestic and overseas services on April 25 have been axed due to coronavirus precautions, those keen to maintain some form of commemoration began workshopping ideas at relevant social media hubs like AnzacLive.

Former Australian Army soldier Chris McAleer is going to set up a fire pit at the end of his driveway in Kilsyth as a tribute to Anzac Day. Chris stands at his steel fire pit he made himself with his daughters Caitlyn, 16, and Alannah, 12. Picture: David Caird
Former Australian Army soldier Chris McAleer is going to set up a fire pit at the end of his driveway in Kilsyth as a tribute to Anzac Day. Chris stands at his steel fire pit he made himself with his daughters Caitlyn, 16, and Alannah, 12. Picture: David Caird

The proposal taking shape is for householders to gather at a set time before dawn in their driveway - or in a window or balcony where they can maintain a safe social distance - with a light or flame to take part in the minute's silence and other key gestures of commemoration, accompanied by a national broadcast that people could listen to on their radio or other devices.

Yesterday it was announced just such a service will be held at the Australian War Memorial, with no congregation but broadcast and streamed live.

It met with approval from ACT RSL President John King, who said such an alternative act of commemoration would be an important form of relief for the many members and ordinary Australians distressed at the prospect of Anzac Day passing with no services.

"Anzac Day is part of who we are," he said.

"I think if people wish to do something as tribute in their own way that would be more than acceptable."

People have been asked to acknowledge Anzac Day dawn service in their driveways. Ally Hawking, 10, and Jaxen Martin, 10 in their driveway with a picture of their great-grandfather Walter Whitworth. Picture: Jake Nowakowski
People have been asked to acknowledge Anzac Day dawn service in their driveways. Ally Hawking, 10, and Jaxen Martin, 10 in their driveway with a picture of their great-grandfather Walter Whitworth. Picture: Jake Nowakowski

He added: "It would provide some relief that something was done, that the day did not pass without something being done."

Mr King stressed the need for any such personal acts of remembrance to be done in accordance with the latest government safety advice.

"I really don't think our forefathers and sisters who gave their lives would want anybody to put their own lives in danger," he added.

What do you think? Share your own ideas at AnzacLive



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