As far as commemorative public holidays go, ANZAC Day must be up there with the nation’s most cherished.
On the 25th of April every year, people across the country as well as in other parts of the World stop to remember the service of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps in Gallipoli. This important national day is a day to reflect on the ANZAC spirit and what it means to live in a free country thankyou to the courage and sacrifice of our operational service men and women.
In 1999, Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia gave the following speech:
“Anzac is not merely about loss. It is about courage, and endurance, and duty, and love of country, and mateship, and good humour and the survival of a sense of self-worth and decency in the face of dreadful odds.”
As much as the ANZAC Day tradition commemorates the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915, it has become a day to remember all Australians who served and died in war, and the spirit of the ANZACs which lives on in all armed service personnel and our sense of national identity.
ANZAC Day is an opportunity for the public to demonstrate their support and gratitude by participating in special activities.
Red Poppies & ANZAC Badges
Buying a red RSL poppy or ANZAC badge to either attach to your lapel or leave at a memorial wall is just one way to respect and honour the diggers, The symbol of life after the devastation of war, red poppies were the first plants to grow across the battlefields of Northern France and Belgium. Funds raised through the ANZAC Appeal contribute to the RSL mission to assist Aussie veterans and their families.
According to the Shrine of Remembrance, during war the most popular times for attack are dawn and dusk. As the sun rises or the sun sets, soldiers man their posts ready to protect against enemy attack or launch their own attack on the enemy.
Each ANZAC Day, thousands of people gather at the Shrine of Remembrance for a Dawn Service, a moving ceremony that is a major part of the tradition of ANZAC Day, which commences at 5.45am.
Anzac Day Parade
Following the Dawn Service is the annual ANZAC Day parade. War veterans, descendants of veterans, service personnel and their relatives march in honour of those who have served their country. The 2016 March will include a special feature to honour the Vietnam Veterans and the 50th anniversary of the Battle of LONG TAN.
The parade will begin at Princes Bridge at 8.45am with the parade back up Swanston and Flinders St. The parade ends at the Shrine of Remembrance with the arrival of the last of the personnel.
Shrine of Remembrance
Victoria’s Shrine of Remembrance is a National War Memorial dedicated to all the memory of all those who have served Australia at war and in peace keeping missions. The Shrine holds educational programs, exhibitions, commemorations, talks and events that aim to educate and engage the public.
Exhibitions at The Shrine have included “Australia Will Be There: Victorians in the First World War (1914-19)” which displayed historical artefacts and stories about WW1, from the landings at Gallipoli to the battles in Palestine, Passchendaele and Fromelles.
For current exhibitions and what’s on at The Shrine of Remembrance, click here. Open 10am – 5pm 7 Days.
Essendon vs Collingwood
For many Melbournites, ANZAC Day is as much about honouring the diggers as it is about the AFL, as Collingwood vs Essendon in their annual ANZAC Day clash.
The match recognises that while serving overseas many an Aussie rules match has been played by soldiers enjoying a break from their duty, and as a celebration of Australian culture. As such a percentage of the profits from the day are donated to the RSL.
A special ceremony is held at the MCG before the match, which includes a flag ceremony and national anthem. The player who best displays the ANZAC spirit on the day – skill, courage, self-sacrifice, teamwork and fair play – is awarded the AFL Anzac Medal.
Catch the game streamed live on Channel 7.
Holiday Inn Melbourne on Flinders
Why not plan a mini-break over the ANZAC Day public holiday weekend? Holiday Inn Melbourne on Flinders is ideally located just a short walk or tram ride from all the action.
We offer a number of great accommodation packages and hotel deals. Click here to browse our promotions. Our Weekend Special includes accommodation, buffet breakfast or breakfast in bed room service, plus late 4pm check-out when you check-in Friday or Saturday.