HUNDREDS of people gathered in Port Macquarie's Town Square at 5.30am on April 25 for the return of Anzac Day services across the region.
It was a brisk but moving dawn service matched by a stunning sunrise watched by early risers lining Town Beach and nearby headlands.
The service was led by Port Macquarie RSL sub-Branch president Greg Laird OAM, who marks his final Anzac Day at the helm.
"We are assembled here to commemorate the immortal day when the young men of Australia by their deeds of sacrifice, demonstrated to the world at Gallipoli that Australia was truly a nation," Mr Laird said.
"The sons and daughters of Anzacs came forward without question and accepted gladly, and discharged fully, their responsibility during World War Two, Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Timor, Rwanda, Iraq and Afghanistan and in peacekeeping and peacemaking operations or other conflicts.
"On this day we remember the sacrifice of such men and women for an ideal, for a way of life.
"Let's take strength in the knowledge, in the hope, that our sons and daughters never forget the example set by their forefathers.
"In our every day life, let us endeavour to carry on these traditions established in past wars and conflicts at such a tragic cost.
We think of every man, woman and child who in those crucial years, died so that the lights of freedom and humanity might continue to shine.Greg Laird, RSL sub-Branch president
"We nurture to the obligations of showing gratitude for the peace we enjoy and the responsibility of ensuring that the freedom and liberty so costly won, is not lost by our own indifference.
"Teach your children that never in the coming centuries, may their hearts fail or their hands grow weak."
The prayer was delivered by sub-Branch padre Ged Oldfield with The Last Post played by bugler Amy Corrigan.
A brief wreath laying ceremony concluded the service.
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