ANZAC DAY: Solemn mood at Maryborough's dawn service
AS the sun rose over Maryborough yesterday, a huge crowd gathered around the city's cenotaph and remembered a very different dawn 102 years ago in Gallipoli.
That day marked the start of an eight month campaign in which more than 11,000 Australian and New Zealand soldiers would die.
The Last Post was played in memory of those soldiers and then three young women performed the national anthems of the two nations.
Ebony Blackwood, Maryborough's HR manager who organised yesterday's services, said for many that was the most moving moment.
Emily Heilbroom, the cadet leading seaman with the naval cadets, sang the Australian anthem.
"That brought a lot of people to tears with how special it was," Ms Blackwood said.
Tracy and Chloe Wright performed the New Zealand national anthem.
Ms Blackwood served in the Australian Navy for eight years and said she was usually part of the march rather than organising the services.
She said it was special to be part of planning the Anzac Day services for the RSL.
During her time in the service, Ms Blackwood travelled to South East Asia, through the Middle East and around Australia doing peacekeeping operations.
She said the Anzac spirit was definitely still alive in the armed forces.
"Definitely, it's one of the main things I miss about the service, the mateship."
Ms Blackwood said it was pleasing to see a strong turn-out from the community, for the dawn service and the march to the main service.
"There were quite a lot, too many to count.
"It was fantastic to see."
This year the march was organised with a slight difference.
The schoolchildren began the march with the veterans and others starting a bit later.
The schoolchildren then formed a guard of honour for the veterans.
"We had feedback from the veterans saying how special it was, the veterans came around the corner and saw the students waving flags."
Councillor Paul Truscott was at the dawn service with his 7-year-old son.
He said his son had been learning about the Anzacs and he appreciated what the ceremony was all about.
"Anzac services are always touching and moving," he said.