Dawn services and parades are out this Anzac Day but people in Taranaki can still collectively and safely remember the servicemen and servicewomen who have sacrificed much for the freedom of so many New Zealanders.
This year we must acknowledge their courage in a different way than usual, from the safety of our homes during the nation’s current Alert Level 4 status.
As a national Dawn Service is broadcast on radio, the internet and even via a special app from 6am on Saturday 25 April, people are invited to stand within their home bubble to remember the fallen. It’s an initiative of the RSA and NZ Defence Force – see www.standatdawn.com(external link) for details.
“Hundreds normally attend Dawn Services right across the region, and this year we thoroughly recommend you take part in Stand at Dawn instead,” says Taranaki Civil Defence Controller Craig Campbell-Smart. “Stand at your letterbox, at the front door, in your lounge rooms, balconies, in your driveway. Wherever you are in the world, stand and take a moment to remember our fallen – but please stay within your bubble.”
He says keeping ourselves and our communities safe from COVID-19 is a fitting way to honour the memory of those who fought and died for our country.
“As we continue to fight the advance Covid-19 on our shores, it is a poignant and significant time to acknowledge the efforts of those who have come before us, and reflect on our own, from the safety of our isolation bubbles.”
There are a number of other ways people can show their Anzac Spirit this weekend, such as making wreaths, laying virtual poppies, learning the history of our Anzacs and to keep in theme with the popularity of lockdown baking – make some delicious Anzac biscuits!
“We also encourage those who have placed teddy bears in their windows to adorn them with Anzac poppies and messages. We know the bears are a welcome and valued sight by our young – and not so young – community members, and acknowledging Anzac Day in this way is a chance to extend the important conversation about the day’s historic significance,” Craig says.
“Together, we will remember them, even as we adhere to Alert Level 4.”
Finally, with Anzac Day falling on a Saturday this year, the public holiday will be on Monday 27 April. “It’s important to remember we’re still in Level 4, so we need to keep up our good work and stay in our bubbles,” says Craig.
While we remain at Alert Level 4, we need to remember:
- Stay at home as much as you can
- If you do venture out, stay in your neighbourhood and stay in your bubble.
- Keep a 2-metre distance from anyone who is not part of your bubble.
- Only drive to get essential supplies, such as groceries or visiting the pharmacy.
- Help our emergency services by only doing safe activities.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap.
The most up to date information on COVID-19 is on www.covid19.govt.nz(external link).