Australia (9news)

Coronavirus: Veteran urges Aussies to fulfil ‘duty’, stop COVID-19 amid ANZAC Day cancellation

By June 23, 2020 No Comments
The cancellation of public Anzac Day services in NSW has caused “heartache” but a Vietnam veteran has urged Australians to “do their duty” and help stop the spread of COVID-19.
RSL NSW acting president Ray James says coronavirus could be the greatest threat faced by Australia and urged everyone to follow the government’s restrictions.
RSL NSW acting president Ray James. Mr James says it was difficult to cancel public Anzac Day services this year, but by doing so he hopes the league is helping to protect the nation. (AAP Image/Supplied by Closer Communications) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY(PR IMAGE)
“This is our moment, even our older veterans, to do our duty again.”
He describes self isolation as the “best weapon” Australians have to fight the virus.
Mr James says it was difficult to cancel public Anzac Day services this year, but by doing so he hopes the league is helping to protect the nation.
“It was one (decision) that I know has caused many of our veterans and the community heartache,” he said.
Public ANZAC Day ceremonies will not be held around Australia or at Gallipoli in 2020 in a bid to prevent the continued spread of coronavirus.(AAP)
The last time Anzac Day services were cancelled was in 1919 because of the Spanish flu, he added.
This year’s Anzac Day commemoration marks 75 years since the end of WWII.
Mr James, who is the son of a veteran and a father of a veteran, says the physical and mental scars of that war impacted his family for many years after it ended.
He called upon NSW residents to stand at the end of their driveways at 6am on April 25 to commemorate those who served, those who died and those who are still serving.
The last time Anzac Day services were cancelled was in 1919 because of the Spanish flu.(AAP)
“Now is the time for all of us to show our Anzac spirit, including ingenuity, and we welcome the many and varied ideas that have been embraced by the community,” he said.
He urged people to record a video of themselves reciting The Ode or share a message of support for veterans on social media, tune into live services and donate to the Anzac appeal.
Mr James also asked people to call any veterans or widows they know and check in with them as many live alone and have been isolated from their families.
“We need to keep our distance but we can always pick up the phone and give them a call,” he said.
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© AAP 2020
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