Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”
Dawn Service. The Dawn Service is a major part and one of the most revered traditions of ANZAC Day. It recalls the military routine known as “standing-to” at dawn and dusk. Opposing armies often used the partial light of dusk and dawn as the most favourable times to attack. The Australian military made it a practice to wake the soldiers and prepare them at their posts – “stand to”- in full kit, ready to repulse enemy attacks or launch their own.
The Dawn Service seeks to recapture the comradeship soldiers felt in those quiet, peaceful moments before dawn. There is also a symbolic links to the dawn landing at Gallipoli. A dawn ceremony became a common form of ANZAC Day remembrance during the 1920s. Originally they were restricted to veterans only. The daytime ceremony was for families and other well-wishers and the dawn service was for returned soldiers to remember and reflect among the comrades with whom they shared a special bond.
The gathered veterans would be ordered to “stand-to” and two minutes of silence would follow. At the start of this period a lone bugler would play the Last Post and then finish the service with Reveille.
In more recent times all Australians are encouraged to participate in dawn services. Reflecting this change, the ceremonies have become more elaborate typically with an introduction, hymn, prayer, an address, laying of wreaths, recitation, the playing of the Last Post, a minute of silence, Reveille, and the playing of both the New Zealand and Australian national anthems.
The Last Post. Often heard at the Dawn Service and other memorials on ANZAC Day, The Last Post is the tune that is played on a bugle to signify the end of the soldiers’ The soldiers could then take their rest. At memorial services, the last post is played as a metaphor. The soldiers who are being honoured know that all duties have been completed, so he or she may finally rest in peace.
- ANZAC Day Football. A match between Collingwood and Essendon has become a standard feature of ANZAC day and is played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Before the match, a special ANZAC Day service is held. This ceremony includes the recognition of Australian War Veterans as well as a Flag Ceremony, including the playing of the Last Post and Australian National Anthem.
At the end of the match The ANZAC Medal is awarded to the player in the match who best exemplifies the ANZAC spirit – skill, courage, self-sacrifice, teamwork and fair play.