This year, in place of traditional ANZAC Day events, people all over Australia took to their driveways in the early morning as part of the RSL’s ‘Light Up The Dawn’ initiative.

ANZAC Day traditionally starts with a dawn service held at the time of the original Gallipoli landing, and various other parades and ceremonies are held throughout the day.

This year, such events are impossible thanks to social distancing requirements to slow the spread of COVID-19, so Australians instead marked the day by standing solemnly in front of their houses.

Comedian Andy Lee was one of many who joined in this morning’s unusual commemoration, and in an Instagram post captioned “We Will Remember Them”, he wrote:

“There was a call for all brass players to sound The Last Post at 6am this morning. Here is our contribution. Bec and I are so grateful to all service men and women, past and present.”

The Project‘s Lisa Wilkinson also posted a video to Instagram, saying that she and around six groups of people stood quietly in her street this morning listening to The Last Post. She wrote:

“In a world that is forever changed, I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated more the sacrifices of all those who serve – past and present – including my beautiful late grandfather, William Charles Wilkinson, at Villers-Bretonneux, on this weekend in 1918.”

“Long may this wonderful new tradition continue.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave an ANZAC Day speech at the National War Memorial, which was attended by a small number of leaders and veterans.

He gave his speech alongside an honour roll with the names of 102,000 Australians who have died in service, and recalled an earlier time when commemorations were cancelled, saying:

“On ANZAC Day 1919, the first after the Great War, there were no city marches or parades for returning veterans because we were battling the Spanish Flu pandemic. Though our streets were empty, the returning veterans were not forgotten.”