For more than a century, New Zealanders have gathered at cenotaphs and Returned and Services Associations around the country on April 25 each year, to commemorate the fallen of Anzac Cove in World War I.
But this year, for the first time since Anzac Day services began in 1916, Kiwis will not be able to gather together to mark the anniversary.
There will be no public events to commemorate Anzac Day during the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, the nation will mark the anniversary by standing by their letterboxes at dawn and with virtual services and online events.
Tauranga Returned and Services Association branch president Fred Milligan said it would be "different" not going to the dawn service this year.
"There's no doubt about that ... normally we all gather in a big heap at the RSA and do our thing at 6 o'clock and freeze, but we won't be doing that this year."
He would be getting up for the Stand at Dawn service instead, he said.
The Stand at Dawn service, which has been organised by the RSA head office and the New Zealand Defence Force, will be broadcast over RNZ National from 6am.
The Last Post, Ode of Remembrance, and national anthems of New Zealand, Australia and Turkey will play, before an address is given by Ron Mark, the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs.
Poppy Day, which is the RSA's biggest fundraiser each year and normally held the Friday before Anzac Day, will most likely be held on Remembrance Day in November, Milligan said.
Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell, who completed basic training in 1983 and served in the army for 37 years, said he would also stand at dawn.
Residents encouraged to get creative to mark Anzac Day
"We stand on the shoulders of giants," he said.
He is also going to be posting a video for Anzac Day, he said.
Powell said Anzac Day was the annual opportunity to commemorate the sacrifices of New Zealanders who had served their country in theatres of war and, in particular, honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Powell said Covid-19 had taken a terrible global toll - about 2.5 million people infected and fatalities now approaching 200,000.
He said it was sobering, then, to reflect on the cost of war, because those numbers were dwarfed by the casualties and deaths in both WWI and WWII.
"We will remember them, because their feats have made our nation great, and have defined the Kiwi spirit."
He encourages people to stand at dawn if possible, and also attend the virtual civic service.
He said people within the apartment block where he lived would be doing this, and they had someone who was going to play Last Post on a speaker.
"It is a special day for New Zealanders."
Powell's years of service in the military include a mix of regular and reserve force service, from a posting as Deputy Commander of a United Nations mission in Lebanon from 2001-02 to Papua New Guinea in 2017.
Powell retired from the army in 2011, after attaining the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
Powell said he had many friends still in operations overseas and has lost many comrades.
He said this Anzac Day was also an opportunity to say thank you in a private way to everyone on the frontline of the pandemic battle.
The Western Bay of Plenty District Council was encouraging residents to get creative within their bubbles to mark Anzac Day.
Western Bay mayor Garry Webber said this would bring out the "number-8 wire" mentality in New Zealanders to find a way of marking the special day of remembrance within their family bubbles.
"New Zealanders have an ability that's born out of isolation to improvise and adapt, and I am sure many people will find creative and unique ways of honouring those who served and are still serving New Zealand, in conflict and peacekeeping," Webber said.
"Don't let Covid-19 spoil our ability to support service people. Regardless of what form it takes, Anzac Day is our national day of remembrance.
"This is a great time for young and old to get creative during the lockdown – and it will make memories in its own right for the younger generation to remember in time to come."
He said, like many others because of lockdown, he would be walking out to the gate at 6am.
He would also be putting a post up on his Facebook page and had prepared a video for the council website to go up tomorrow morning.
"We can't forget the sacrifices people made so we can live the way we do today."
Fire brigades in Katikati, Athenree and Waihi Beach will sound their sirens at dawn.
Te Puke RSA's Anzac Day committee chairman Russell Pittar said, like many other aspects of life at the moment, Anzac Day 2020 would be almost surreal.
Like many others, he would commemorate the day within his bubble.
''I've made a cross myself and put poppies on it ready to put on a post outside on Saturday morning and I'm going to play the Last Post, the Reveille and say the Ode and that'll be it,'' he said.
Pittar lives in a villa that is part of Carter House Lifecare and Village and said he had provided poppies for residents in the care home. They would also have a small, private commemoration.
We will remember them.
Ideas to commemorate Anzac Day
- Putting poppies in your neighbour's letterbox
- Making wreaths and putting photos on social media
- Baking Anzac-themed cakes and biscuits
- Taking time to research New Zealand's history in war service and its far-reaching impacts on families and the nation.
- Interesting sites to visit to get ideas: www.standatdawn.com/activities37962265, mch.govt.nz/anzac-day
- Ways for communities to engage in Anzac Day 2020: www.westernbay.govt.nz/council/news-and-updates/news?item=id:29rkcqagj17q9sg7xmg4