Live coverage: Anzac Day 2014
Former Australian Defence Force member Colin Hogan travelled from Tasmania to join the crowds in Martin Place to commemorate the 99th year since the landing at Anzac Cove.
Mr Hogan said the service was moving.
“I think with the Dawn Service in Sydney, a poignant moment is when they play the Last Post and the fact that they actually darken the place out,” he said.
“You can almost feel the spirits of the ex-servicemen there with you.”
Speaking to SBS after the solemn ceremony, Mr Hogan said the notion of Anzac Day is often misinterpreted.
“I think some people get the wrong idea when they say it’s a celebration of war, it’s not,” he said.
“The only way I can express it … is to be at the Dawn Service when they play the Last Post. Look at us old blokes with our medals and we’ll have tears in our eyes. We’re celebrating nothing, we’re remembering.”
Helen Wake said it would “take a lifetime to tell” what Anzac Day meant to her and her family.
“I’ve been doing this for almost 50 years and each year is getting harder,” she said.
“I can’t control the emotion anymore. It’s been a long time, family thing… I made a point of coming in especially.”
Ms Wake will be marching in the parade this morning, carrying a banner she made to acknowledge the service of those who fought in Vietnam.
“I hope that they see it and know that we did appreciate what they’ve done and they went through,” she said.
Kim Ferguson travelled from Mudgee for the service, her first attended in Australia.
“It’s one of the real places where Australians and New Zealanders come together and, as a dual citizen, I think it’s fantastic,” she said.
“We come together truly as brothers and sisters, rather than our usual rivalry.”
(Kim Ferguson and Peter Munro, Mudgee)
The Sydney service was one of many held in cities and regional centres across Australia.