Salvation Army to lead nation in Anzac Day prayer
23 April 2020
Major Brett Gallagher, Chief Commissioner of the Red Shield Defence Services, will lead the prayer during the live broadcast of the Anzac Day service at the Australian War Memorial. “For some watching this live broadcast, this is a time of prayer. For others, it is a time of quiet reflection. Whichever time this is for you, let’s embrace the stillness, join together, and be mindful of why we are taking this time.”
“The Salvation Army was invited to provide a representative to pray this year,” said Brett. “We rotate this honour with the head chaplains of the Air Force, Army and Navy, and this year it was our turn. I will be representing The Salvation Army, including the Red Shield Defence Services (RSDS), in uniform.”
In his prayer, Brett will recognise the courage, determination and commitment of those who have fought for our country, ask for strength for those who have survived conflict, for peace for the heartbroken whose loved ones will not return from conflict zones, and comfort for those left behind after a loved one has taken his or her own life.
He will pray that Australians face our current challenges with the courage, initiative and resolve of the Anzacs, and that we strive to bring about reconciliation, understanding and peace.
The live service, which will include only a small number of dignitaries due to COVID-19 restrictions, will be broadcast from the Australian War Memorial Commemorative Area, allowing participants to maintain social distancing as the work and sacrifices of past and present servicemen and women are acknowledged.
Governor-General David Hurley, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other dignitaries representing the Commonwealth, people of Australia and New Zealand as well as senior representatives of current and former veterans, will lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during the service.
The service will also enable Australians to mark Anzac Day safely from home, in accordance with COVID-19 regulations. This year, there will be no traditional dawn service, national ceremony or veterans’ march. All RSL (Returned and Services League) clubs around the country will remain closed, and no public events will take place.
“The RSDS is still supporting soldiers around the country as best as we can, and where we can,” said Brett. “It’s mostly one-on-one, with social distancing measures in place, but we are able to maintain what we need to do in terms of meeting the needs of servicemen and women.
“This Anzac Day will be different, but we can make it special. I encourage Australians to watch the service at 5.30am and then go out to your driveways, with candles or torches, play the Last Post and observe a minute’s silence.”
Australian jazz musician and Salvation Army supporter James Morrison is also encouraging people to play the Last Post in their driveways at 6am.
The Anzac Day commemorative service will be broadcast live across Australia by the ABC and streamed online.