While people traditionally pay tribute during the Anzac Day dawn service at their local memorial service, Australians were asked this year to stand outside of their houses and light a candle to #lightupthedawn.
The call was received with overwhelming support as thousands of Australians stood in the street with their neighbours in silence, with light provided only by the luminous candles and radiant dawn sun.
Many tuned into radio stations streaming The Last Post, The Ode and a one minute’s silence. Some Sydney communities, however, were fortunate to have voluntary trumpet players performing the Last Post, with one of these performers being eight-year-old Rocky-Dimitri (Spiliopoulos) Holt.
The Greek boy stood outside his house with his family and performed the Last Post for neighbours in the Dolls Point community.
“ANZAC Day is very important because we remember the people who died in the war for us,” Rocky-Dimitri says to The Greek Herald.
Performing the Last Post is a hundred year old tradition that is gratefully carried on by the next generation of Australians. Learning to play the cornet for the past three years, Rocky-Dimitri says that while he was fortunate enough to be able to play the Last Post for Anzac Day this year, he will continue to learn to improve for the future.
During Anzac Day, many Greek Australians remember their ancestors who either fought either beside the Anzacs or during WWI and WWII. This is also the case for Rocky-Dimitri and his family, who’s Greek ancestors fought in Greece during WWII.
“My great-pappou Spilio, from my pappou’s side from Arcadia, fought in the Alvaniko Polemo,” Rocky-Dimitri says.
“My great-pappou from my yiayia’s side in Crete was also involved in WWII. Unfortunately I never met them but my mum and yiayia and pappou have told me some stories.”
Ricky-Dimitri’s mother, Heidi, runs a music school in Ramsgate called ‘The Music Space’ and says she is hopes her son acts as an inspiration for other children to learn an instrument.
“He’s now in the senior band at Bald Face public school and sitting his 4th grade AMEB exam for the cornet at the end of this year,” Heidi says.
“I hope he inspires other children his age to learn an instrument and continue to choose to remember those we have lost every year.”
For Australian’s who are looking to give back to former ANZAC soldiers and Australian veterans, they can do so by donating to the ANZAC Appeal online at anzacappeal.com.au. Donations support Australian veterans and their families in need.