Anzac Day was a bit different this year because of COVID, but commemorations went ahead across the country.
At the War Memorial in Canberra, over 6,500 people attended the dawn service and national ceremony.
Memorial Director Matt Anderson said the commemorative events were a powerful reminder of the continued dedication of the Australian people to the annual traditions of Anzac Day.
‘To welcome, in the midst of a global pandemic, thousands of veterans, defence force personnel, their families, members of the public and dignitaries across both the dawn service and national ceremony here at the Australian War Memorial is a powerful reminder to what matters to us as a nation,’ said Mr Anderson.
‘People have a special connection to Anzac Day and what it represents for our servicemen and servicewomen – and indeed for all Australians.
‘On Anzac Day this year, we paused to commemorate not only the 106th Anniversary of the landings on Gallipoli in 1915, but to remember the commitment and sacrifice of all our men and women who serve and have served in conflicts and on operational service,’ said Mr Anderson.
Images of Australian servicemen and servicewomen were projected onto the front façade of the Memorial ahead of the Dawn Service.
The pre-dawn proceedings also featured a series of readings by Australian servicemen and servicewomen and commenced with Flight Lieutentant Tjapuki Shaw, a Wiradjuri man of 22 Squadron, playing the didgeridoo from the parapet of the Memorial.
Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld AO DSC, Chief of Air Force, delivered the Commemorative Address at the National Ceremony, with 2021 marking the Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force.
‘From the pioneers who had flown with the Australian Flying Corps, courageous innovators operating early aircraft when aviation was barely two decades old, to the aviators of today providing humanitarian relief both abroad and at home. We take a moment today to thank the aviators of past and present for over 100 years of service,’ said Mr Hupfeld.
There were also large gatherings in most other major Australian centres, with various levels of COVID precautions this year.
Closer to home, the people of the Northern Rivers also took time out to remember the sacrifices and losses of war, with commemorative events held across the region. Air Force Super Hornets flew over many local events this year, breaking the silence.
Photo gallery from Echo photographer Jeff Dawson and others: