An Evandale couple is at the forefront of a local push for Tasmanians to embrace Anzac Day this year, despite the ongoing upheaval associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dean Brown and Mick Finney, both health care professionals, have thrown their weight behind the Light Up the Dawn campaign, a grassroots effort encouraging people to grab a torch and take to their driveways, verandahs or balconies on Anzac Day to commemorate the Diggers, as social distancing measures have forced the cancellation of dawn services across the country.
RSL branches have endorsed the campaign.
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"On Anzac Day I would like the nation to get out of bed, get off their arses and do something not only for yourself, but for your ancestors and your family, for your neighbours and friends, for your country and your planet," Mr Brown said.
Mr Finney said the initiative would help to "uplift everybody" during a time of immense uncertainty.
"Even if just one person from one household stands out, what a difference it would make," he said. "We are all in this together and we need to stand together strong."
RSL Tasmania state president Robert Dick said that while the community was "devastated" by the need to cancel traditional Anzac Day services, RSLs had been "encouraged" by the alternatives suggested.
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"RSL Tasmania ... ask that at 6am on Anzac Day, let's gather - separate but united - at the end of our driveways or on our balconies and observe a minute's silence as the sun rises," he said.
Veterans' Affairs Minister Guy Barnett said he encouraged all Tasmanians to commemorate Anzac Day this year, even under changed circumstances, and "give thanks for the service and sacrifice of those who have served our country".
The idea is to try and get the kids out, as well, but even if just one person from one household stands out, what a difference it would make. We really need to just uplift everybody and just get that spirit ... going. We are all in this together and we need to stand together strong.
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