Local MP Darren Chester has congratulated Gippslanders for respectfully commemorating Anzac Day at home.
As Veterans’ Affairs Minister and Member for Gippsland, Mr Chester normally spends the day attending as many major commemorative events and local Gippsland services as possible.
But with Australians ordered to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Mr Chester this year watched the televised broadcast of the dawn service held at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra from his lounge room in Lakes Entrance.
“While it is disappointing we can’t attend public events, at its heart, Anzac Day is a time for personal reflection,” Mr Chester said.
“It’s our chance to demonstrate our respect for those who fought to win the freedoms we enjoy today.
“We are fortunate and we are also the beneficiaries of previous generations who gave so much to protect and build our nation in the most difficult circumstances.
“Across Gippsland, people of all ages demonstrated their respect with private vigils in their driveways, front lawns or lounge rooms. It was wonderful to see that so many people wanted to say ‘thank you for your service’ to our defence force personnel and veterans.
“This year, Gippslanders reflected on the meaning of Anzac Day at home in their own way. They paused to remember the 102,000 fallen Australians whose names are immortalised on the walls of the Australian War Memorial, and the many thousands wounded or injured during their service in the Australian Defence Force.
“Anzac Day is a time to think about those who continue to serve in uniform today and those who love and support them in their service.
“While Anzac Day has felt different this year, the nation’s gratitude to its service personnel, past and present, remains strong and unchanged.”