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The Informer: Anzac Day 2021 starts a new chapter

Carrie Mitchell, Greg Jackson, Shaun Mitchell with neighbours outside their homes for the Anzac Day Light up the Dawn driveway service. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos
Carrie Mitchell, Greg Jackson, Shaun Mitchell with neighbours outside their homes for the Anzac Day Light up the Dawn driveway service. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

The origin of Anzac Day is basically out of living memory for Australians.

Yet observance of its anniversary has become one the federation's most enduring traditions.

Many wars have been fought overseas in Australia's name since, but its Anzac Day which gives this people in basically every city, town and village pause for thought.

The April 25 dawn service surged in popularity on, and after, the centenary of the Gallipoli landing.

Crowds had surged and sub-branches in towns were considering how to cater for growing audiences for their previously small-scale events.

Then we faced 2020 and its ongoing challenges.

For the longest time, there would have been countless households where the families' military service was privately observed within the home on most days through treasured medals, photos, and other priceless keepsakes.

But 2020 forced public observance into homes and on to driveways.

While crowds are allowed once again and fewer Canberrans marked Anzac Day in candlelit front yards this time around, many still plan to make their own Light Up the Dawn driveway service an annual event.

In some ways 2021's Anzac Day, the 106th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, was significantly marked by change.

It was the first service since Prime Minister Scott MOrriosn announced troops would be withdrawing from Afghanistan, Australia's longest conflict.

The For our Country sculptural pavilion is set behind a ceremonial fire pit within a circle of stones, the wall of two-way mirrored glass - which reflects the viewer and the Australian War Memorial - honours Indigenous Australians and New Zealanders who have served since 1901.

Up until 1992, the Australian Defence Force banned LGB personnel from serving openly and it was only in 2010 when the ADF lifted restrictions on transgender people from serving.

Anzac Day - one of the federation's oldest services - perhaps started a new chapter in 2021.

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This story The new ways of marking Anzac Day first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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