How to gather in spirit this Anzac Day

By Mikaela Turner

No day unifies Australia, physically and emotionally, as much as Anzac Day. And for many veterans, in particular, it is an important day to reconnect and honour those who have lost their lives in the name of national service.

But, as with so many events this year, April 25 will be an Anzac Day like no other. No marches, no gatherings, no way to collectively show our gratitude in the manner we usually do.

Reserve army chaplain Andrew Delbridge says the effects of being separated on Saturday will be felt acutely by those in and around the Australian Defence Force.

“There’s going to be a large element of grief because, for many people, this is their opportunity to reconnect with people and share a part of the common story they’ve all lived,” he says.

“It’s also that sense of coming together to remember and honour those who’ve made sacrifices in the past.”

Andrew, 53, who has been an army chaplain for 13 years, is confident, despite the restrictions on public gathering, that this Anzac Day will still resonate with veterans and non-veterans alike.

“In the way that the church is having to adopt new ways of being and worshipping, this too will be something new,” he says.

“It could end up being a very positive, poignant way for people to reflect individually upon what Anzac Day means to them, as everyone has their own story.”

For those wishing to pay their respects, the Australian War Memorial is broadcasting its official service live from 5.30am on ABC TV and on its Facebook page and YouTube channel.

People are also being encouraged to walk to the top of their driveway at 6am to reflect together in what’s being coined the “Driveway Dawn Service”.

Andrew Delbridge has been an army chaplain since 2007.

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