April 25 marks the day in 1915 when Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) landed at Gallipoli in Turkey, the site of Australia and New Zealand’s first major battle of World War I and the loss of over 8,700 Australian and 2,700 New Zealand soldiers amongst many others.
Here are some ideas on how you can reflect on, and remember, those who died serving Australia and New Zealand during war, while honouring servicemen and women, past and present.
- Go for an early morning walk as a family and watch the sun come up. At dawn, stop and take a quiet moment to remember all those that have fallen. Although we will miss the prayers and parades, dawn is when the Australian troops initially set foot at Gallipoli on April 25 1915. The symbolism of darkness breaking into sunrise makes for a compelling moment of reflection.
- Display your community spirit by decorating your letterbox, fence, front door and windows with poppies, wreaths or ANZAC related art work. You can find some great art and craft ideas here
- Post a Poppy online. Leave a message of support for Australian servicemen and women lestweforget.gov.au or donate to your National RSA poppy appeal (details can be found on the respective RSA websites).
- Bake ANZAC biscuits with your family. You can find a great recipe here.
- Research your family’s military history. There are a range of websites where you can start your search. For Australia, the Australian War Memorial, Department of Veteran Affairs and National Library. For New Zealand, visit the National Army Museum, Veterans Affairs and National Library are a good places to begin too. There are also a range of platforms that you can use such as Ancestry.com and GenI for a subscription fee.
- For smaller children, read the story of Simpson and his donkey. John Simpson Kirkpatrick and his donkey Duffy have become an icon of the Gallipoli campaign and it is taught to primary school children all over Australia and New Zealand. Ask your children if they know the story or look online to find out more.
This ANZAC day, although we cannot come together in person, we can continue to come together in in spirit and continue the commemoration of ANZAC courage, compassion, camaraderie, and commitment.
Lest we forget.