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Media Releases 23 Apr 2021

Stop, Commemorate and Light up the Dawn

RSL NSW President Ray James has today reassured communities across the State that there is more than one way to commemorate ANZAC Day this Sunday.

RSL sub-Branch veteran volunteers are putting the final touches on smaller dawn services, marches, and driveway vigils in their community.

Mr James acknowledged that some people remain concerned about the risk of COVID-19 and attending large, public events, particularly amongst vulnerable members of the community.

“The RSL encourages people to honour and commemorate those who have served and sacrificed for our nation in a safe way and in any way they feel comfortable,” Mr James said.

“If they can’t attend a commemoration service, they can honour them equally by rallying their neighbours to ‘light up the dawn’ on their driveways at 6am.”

RSL NSW announced in February that ANZAC Day commemorations could go ahead this year, and in April the Minister for Health and Medical Research granted further exemptions under the Public Health Order for up to 5000 people to attend dawn services, marches, and all other ANZAC Day commemorations outside of the Sydney CBD. An exemption was granted for 10,000 people and unlimited spectators to participate in the Sydney CBD March.

Mr James said that while the exemptions were good news for veterans, the gradual increases since February and associated guidelines to the exemptions has created logistical challenges for the veteran volunteers coordinating local commemorations in association with NSW Police and their council.

“I encourage people to show true ANZAC spirit – ingenuity, humour, endurance, courage and mateship – and support their RSL sub-Branches to commemorate safely this year,’’ Mr James said.

For a full list of ANZAC Day commemorations across NSW visit rslnsw.org.au and lightupthedawn.com.au to discover how people can honour veterans with a moment of private reflection from home at 6am on ANZAC Day.

Media contact: Trina Constable 0497 555 082

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