This year, Northeast Health Wangaratta is not able to hold our traditional ANZAC Day commemorative service within the hospital, due to COVID-19 and physical/social distancing restrictions.
“We have stationed an ANZAC Day banner and wreath facing the street at Northeast Heath Wangaratta and our flags lowered as signs of respect”, Northeast Health Wangaratta’s CEO and Royal Australian Navy member, Mr Tim Griffiths.
“Anzac Day is the day all Australians come together in remembrance. But this year we’ll have to come together in spirit, instead of in person. We can all still keep the ANZAC spirit alive and honour our veterans and service members from the safety of our own homes”, Mr Griffiths said.
People are strongly encouraged at 5.55am on ANZAC Day – Saturday 25th April to go to the end of their driveways or a space at their home, an form a virtual line across the nation, to light up the dawn and remember and pay our respects with a candle or the light on your phone. At this time pause and share a minute silence for our heroes – Lest We Forget.
It was 105 years ago on the morning of the 25th April 1915, that Australian and New Zealand troops landed under fire on Gallipoli. With that and the many battles that followed, the ANZAC tradition was formed and lives strongly in our thoughts.
“ANZAC Day is a special day in the heart of all Australians, as we remember with pride what our past and present heroes accomplished for Australia and indeed for our freedom,” Mr Griffiths said.
“We remember all of the healthcare workers that have served, providing care and comforting the wounded. In this, the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we remember our Wangaratta nurses Caroline Ennis and Dorothy Elms who lost their lives serving our Nation’, Mr Griffiths said.
Mr Griffiths notes that for him personally, ANZAC Day is a very emotional and special day, one of great gratitude and thanks and one that fills him with a great sense of pride to be an Australian and a serving member of the Royal Australian Navy.
“As a part-time active serving Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Australian Navy, my tradition has been to attend the Dawn Service and march in the ANZAC Day parade. Although I can’t do this, I will pay my respect and observe a minute silence at dawn”.
Mr Griffiths said, it is words like these that embody the ANZAC spirit:
“I was your mate… the kid across the street… the med. student at graduation… the mechanic in the corner garage… the baker who brought you bread… the gardener who cut your lawn… the clerk who sent your phone bill.
I was an Army private… a Naval commander… an Air Force bombardier. no one knows me… no name marks my tomb, for I am every Australian serviceperson… I am the Unknown Soldier.
I died for a cause I held just in the service of my land… that you and yours may say in freedom… I am proud to be an Australian”
Lest We Forget