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Scott Morrison encourages Australians to be inspired by the spirit of Anzacs amid the COVID-19 crisis

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has asked Australians to pay their respects this Anzac day, despite interruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra was closed to the public, but was broadcast to homes around the country from 5:30 a.m. on Saturdays.

Mr. Morrison used the words of his wartime predecessor, John Curtin, while addressing the public-free memorial service.

“Here in Canberra, today, 75 years ago, and in the midst of the war, our then Prime Minister John Curtin called on every citizen to give the same amount of devotion that our military and women give every day,” he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Jenny Morrison lay a wreath at the grave of the unknown Australian soldier during Anzac Day memorial service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Jenny Morrison lay a wreath at the grave of the unknown Australian soldier during Anzac Day memorial service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra

He reminded Australia that the original Anzacs handed a torch, clenched and carried high, and it is passed down to every generation of Australians.

“This Anzac day has been passed on to us. And so together, with confidence in each other, and guided by the lives and examples of those who have gone before, we grab that torch and raise it high again and illuminate the Anzac dawn. So we don’t forget. ‘

Mr. Morrison delivered his speech next to the roll of honor, which marks the names of 102,000 men and women who died in service.

“On these walls we see and see the names of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers who gave their lives for this land and the people they love,” he said.

“Through these 102,000 men and women, and the millions more who have worn the uniform of our country, we come to understand what love for family, community and country really means.

“The service and sacrifice we remember today has always been expressed in trouble, on the beaches of Gallipoli, the deserts of Egypt, the mud of the Somme, the jungles of New Guinea, the death marches.

Mr Morrison encouraged Australians to channel the Anzacs eruption and unite in times of crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Mr Morrison encouraged Australians to channel the Anzacs eruption and unite in times of crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Mr Morrison encouraged Australians to channel the Anzacs eruption and unite in times of crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic

“Australians have experienced the worst and they have done it for us.”

Anzac Day marches across the country have been canceled due to the health crisis, while a small number of services have been closed to the public.

Mr. Morrison said this was not the first time that Anzac Day commemorations had been disrupted by a pandemic.

“Our Anzac Day traditions have been interrupted this year, but not for the first time,” he said.

On Anzac Day 1919, the first after World War I, there were no city marches or parades for the returning veterans as Australians fought the Spanish flu pandemic.

“Our streets were empty. The returning veterans were not forgotten. ‘

Australia's Governor General David Hurley and Prime Minister Scott Morrison after the Anzac Day Commemorative Service on Saturday morning

Australia's Governor General David Hurley and Prime Minister Scott Morrison after the Anzac Day Commemorative Service on Saturday morning

Australia’s Governor General David Hurley and Prime Minister Scott Morrison after the Anzac Day Commemorative Service on Saturday morning

Australians were encouraged to hold their own Anzac Day services by lighting a candle and standing in their driveway to pay their respects.

Veterans and their families usually gather at the Australian War Memorial to mark the annual service.

Prior to Anzac Day, Mr. Morrison agreed that this year’s commemorations would be like “none of us have ever experienced”.

“I look forward to the entire nation, in their driveway, illuminating the dawn, remembering our heroes and drawing inspiration from them for the task and challenge we are currently facing,” he said Friday.

Mr Morrison and his wife Jenny walk through the empty Australian War Memorial on Saturday morning

Mr Morrison and his wife Jenny walk through the empty Australian War Memorial on Saturday morning

Mr Morrison and his wife Jenny walk through the empty Australian War Memorial on Saturday morning

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