(Australian Associated Press)
The head of RSL NSW has called on Australians to respect Anzac Day, reminding the public the national day of remembrance is “not a party”.
RSL NSW President James Brown urged the public to remember the purpose of Anzac Day.
“We ask Australians to respect the day, to make sure that you enjoy the day, that you reflect on the sacrifice of our military personnel but that you don’t overindulge and you don’t disrespect their day,” Mr Brown told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.
The son-in-law of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said Anzac Day is first and foremost a solemn day for reflection, commemoration and contemplation.
“But it’s also an opportunity for veterans to get together with their mates, have a beer, catch up – and the pubs will be full, and that’s appropriate,” Mr Brown said.
“We want to make sure that our veterans can spend time with each other without being harassed, we want to make sure that Australians who come out to support those veterans – it’s not a party, it’s not a celebration.”
Anzac Day is also a family day with children expected at both the dawn service and in the march, Mr Brown said.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Tony Cooke said NSW Police expected people to come in the “right spirit” to support veterans and their families “enjoy this one day of the year that is set aside to celebrate their achievements and what they do for us as a community”.