Hundreds of people turned out for the moving dawn service to mark Anzac Day at Wauchope cenotaph.
Although there was no march from the Wauchope RSL Club this year because of fears for veterans' safety, and this did cause some controversy, the crowds came to pay their respects to those who served Australia.
The president of Wauchope RSL Sub-branch, Des Hancock said they assembled this morning to honour the men and women of Anzac.
"Led by the spirit of these immortal comrades, we seek the dawning of a better day in which persons of goodwill shall choose for themselves and for others, ways of service that are friendly and devoid of oppression.
"Greater love has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends," he said.
The hymn 'Abide With Me' was sung and then Ray Knapp led the prayer thanking God for the efforts being made by the nations of the world in seeking peace and happier relations with each other.
"We praise Thee for the spirit in men and women which made them scorn the way of safety, and venture all for the common cause of freedom and right, for all great and noble acts known and unknown, which we believe by the mercy of God will bring about the final conquest of the forces of evil which threaten the peace and security of the world," said the ex-serviceman.
Len Barker read the Anzac dedication.
"At this hour, upon this day, Anzac received its baptism of fire and became one of the immortal names in history. We who are gathered here think of the comrades who went out to the battlefields of the First and Second World Wars; conflicts in Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and in many peacekeeping, peacemaking and other operations," he said.
"We wish to be worthy of their great sacrifices. Let us therefore, once more, dedicate ourselves to the service of the ideals for which they died. As the dawn is even now about to pierce the night, so let their memory inspire us to work for the coming new light, into the dark places of the world."
In her Anzac address, Wauchope High School captain Caitlin Miller said the diggers are truly our heroes.
"They bring me the strength and motivation to carry on in life. The heroic Anzacs mean we live in a stable and beautiful country. From the ashes of war grew strong connections, stronger mateship. Many Aboriginal people served, including my great-grandfather. The soldiers inspire me in their bravery, even as they were mourning their fallen friends. We have to keep our soldiers' spirit alive," she said.
In his Anzac address, her fellow Wauchope High School captain Flynn Warburton said he had always been involved in the Anzac march, and described it as a day of sadness, and a day to remember.
"My grandmother told me about all of the young men, who weren't even of age, and who left their families to fight, to run on to the beach and into Turkish gunfire. Those men paid the price for this nation in blood and tears. We celebrate in solemn mood, but it fills me with hope. The soldiers' perseverance and courage in the face of adversity established something we want to hold on to - Anzac Day," he said.
Bugler Tom Hord played the Last Post, the Ode was recited, and then came Reveille. The crowd sang the hymn 'Lead, Kindly Light' and Wauchope RSL Sub-branch president, Des Hancock read the epilogue.
"Here, at this sacred spot, we keep our tryst; we, the living, with those who march no more; for this brief hour, the veil is pushed aside, and they are with us of yore.
"We see them as we knew them long ago - an immortal host untouched by time's decay, who bridge the span of years and transport us back into the realm of yesterday.
"Old thoughts revive, and deeds once shared, relive as we in memory, meet around this shrine; while in silent contemplation, we review their sacrifice, and its true cause define. That men may walk in honour and in peace, that freedom might throughout the world survive; remembering for this they gave their lives, we bow our heads with homage and pride and as the spirit commences with spirit here, we know - they'll wait until our work is done 'till we meet at last shall join their ranks, and then we'll march together into the rising sun.
"But till that dawn, we keep our vigil here, and from their presence go with firmer mind refreshed, repledged, to dedicate our lives to serving God, and country and mankind."
The national anthem was sung and many of the ex-servicemen and women and their families went to the Wauchope RSL Club for breakfast.
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