32,000 attend Anzac Day Dawn Service at Australian War Memorial

A crowd of more than 32,000 people gathered in the dark this morning at the Australian War Memorial for the Anzac Day Dawn Service, commemorating the 109th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.

The newly appointed Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral David Johnston, delivered the Commemorative Address, acknowledging the sacrifice of all Australians who have served in war and on operations.

The Dawn Service commenced at 5.30 am with a stirring digeridoo performance at the Stone of Remembrance.

Australian War Memorial Director Matt Anderson said it was moving that thousands of people from across Australia and overseas chose to commemorate Anzac Day at the Memorial.

“This year’s strong Dawn Service attendance reflects the enduring connection so many people have to Anzac Day,” Mr Anderson said.

“Today we mark 109th anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli, while also recognising the commitment and sacrifice of all who have served, those who continue to serve, and the families who support them.

“Over the past three decades, more than 100,000 Australians have served in war, conflicts, peacekeeping, humanitarian and disaster relief operations around the world.

“While we acknowledge veterans every day of the year at the Australian War Memorial, Anzac Day holds a special place in our hearts and minds. Through the stories told in our galleries, and the space being created by the Memorial Development, we will continue to highlight the unbroken thread that runs from pre-dawn landings at Anzac Cove to the veterans who served in Afghanistan and those serving today.”

The Veterans’ March, led and reviewed by outgoing Governor-General David Hurley, is expected to comprise more than 1,600 veterans, who will proceed up Anzac Parade and be the first to march on the Memorial’s newly developed Parade Ground.

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