ANZAC Day marches were cancelled in 1919 because of the Spanish flu pandemic.
They were impacted again in 1942 when large gatherings were banned as the Australian government prepared for a feared Japanese attack that had already seen air raids on Darwin in February and Broome in March.
After Anzac Day came the May and June submarine shellings of Sydney and Newcastle.
Now, 78 years later, Anzac Day marches and ceremonies have joined a long list of events cancelled because of coronavirus restrictions.
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The RSL wants as many people as possible to take part, "united in spirit to remember all those who have served and sacrificed for the lifestyle we enjoy today".
As meaningful as such personal gestures may be individually, the loss of the usual proceedings will have a palpable impact.
The ambivalence that many feel about war - returned soldiers perhaps most of all - means that Anzac Day is as much about the ethos of mateship, and camaraderie, as it is about individual acts of heroism and bravery, although these will always have their place in the nation's thoughts.
Without the massed dawn service, the 9am march and the drink and two-up afterwards for those inclined, Anzac Day 2020 will be a day of absence, rather than presence.
The timing is unfortunate.
The ranks of our WWII soldiers are thinning rapidly, as happened with our original Anzacs 20 years ago.
Even the youngest WWII veteran is approaching their mid-90s: their stories, too, will soon pass from memory to history.
The world-wide impact of coronavirus has led to lots of analogies with war.
The comparisons are often appropriate: 190,000 people have already died, many of them struggling in vain for breath, and there is no guarantee we are are even half-way through things, globally.
But war in its most basic sense means people fighting people.
At present, despite an unfortunate rise in international tensions, we are all on the one side against COVID-19.
Hopefully things will stay that way. We will honour the fallen this Anzac Day, whether they died for their country, or succumbed to the virus.
Lest We Forget.
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