Tomorrow is Anzac Day, and councils around Australia are gearing up to mark the occasion.
In Canberra, war hero Mark Donaldson will address the crowd at the Australian War Memorial.
A decade ago, in 2008, Mark Donaldson — while in the Oruzgan Province of Afghanistan — rescued an interpreter working for the coalition forces from heavy gunfire. For his bravery he was awarded the Victoria Cross, becoming the first recipient of the prestigious military award in over 40 years.
The humble corporal — who insists that he is not a hero — will speak in front of thousands at the Australian War Memorial.
The dawn service in Canberra will be headed by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.
Keith Payne VC AM, Australia’s oldest living Victoria Cross recipient at 85, who put it all on the line at the Battle of Ben Het in ’69, ignoring injuries to save 40 men, will be an integral part of Adelaide City’s annual march.
Darwin, the site of Australia’s largest foreign attack on mainland soil — when Japanese bombers killed 240 people — will see Royal Australian Air Force jets and helicopters fly over the city’s march.
NZ commemorations cancelled
At the Kings Park State War Memorial dawn service, WA Premier Mark McGowan will address the crowds.
Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for the Pacific, will be in Papua New Guinea, marking the country’s shared military history with Australia.
Over in New Zealand, due to heightened security fears after the terror attacks in Christchurch, several Anzac commemorations have been cancelled, with Auckland’s number of ceremonies dropping from 84 to a consolidated 26. However, organisers in Christchurch say they won’t be deterred, AAP reports.
The Last Post, the idyllic ceremony in Villers-Bretonneux in the French countryside, will start at dawn, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s February intervention to halt the local service being postponed to later in the morning.
As well as the myriad ceremonies, Australians will have plenty of sport to watch on Anzac Day.
The Adelaide United will battle the Brisbane Roar in the A-League, with the AFL’s Anzac Day clash kicking off soon after, where Essendon will face Collingwood.
There will also be back-to-back NRL games, with the Roosters facing the Dragons and the Storm taking on the Warriors.
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