Darryl Kelly OAM, Professional Soldier (Retired)

ANZAC Day 2020 may forever become part of Australian history, as the year that ANZAC Day was cancelled. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead it’s an opportunity to make this year’s commemoration to be one of the most poignant and memorable of all.

Why – because every household, in every street, in every suburb and every town, has the opportunity to commemorate and truly personalise what ANZAC Day means to them.

For children of all ages, it provides the opportunity to research their past family members and family friends who have served. To perhaps decorate the front yard, the porch or the garden, as a show of thanks and support for those who have served and who continue to serve.

Most of all, it promotes awareness and reflection on those deployed, our older generation’s service or for those since passed. More importantly, to tell their own stories in their own words and feelings of their families and friends service.
For the adults, it’s the opportunity to reconnect to relatives both close and distant in the lead up to ANZAC Day and ask questions about your great grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who may have served and what they did. This way your family’s history, no matter how small or seemingly trivial is not lost to future generations.

These tributes may not be limited to the written word, instead it could be told in art or drawing, video or song, montage or even sharing a favourite recipe for ANZAC biscuits. The most important fact, is that the message, the pride and the inherent resilience shown by you and your family in these troubled times, is getting out there.

This site is the perfect way to tell your family’s story for others to see, appreciate and remember.
Some tips to help out:
– Speak to your relatives about family members who served. What were their full names, where did they live and what did they do with their lives pre and post conflict.
-If a family member has the relative’s medals, ask for the number, initials, name and any other details from the back or rim of the medal. If they have a photo, ask for a scanned copy if available.
– Go to the Australian War Memorial site at www.awm.gov.au and click People and put in the names and see where it takes you. By clicking Collection and typing in your relatives details may provide photos or other interesting information.
– Go to the Australian National Archives site – www.naa.gov.au and click Record Search and type in the names and service number. This may provide the service records of the soldier, nurse, sailor or airman or woman.

Even by using Google or another electronic medium, can provide invaluable information on your family member.

Build your own story but most of all share that story with others but always be proud of your family members, friends and all those who have served and contributed so much to our country.



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