The bugle sounded the Last Post, ringing out over the heads of thousands of people who gathered in Queanbeyan for the main march and commemorative ceremony on Wednesday.
The parade began at the RSL memorial on Crawford Street just after 10am and paused at the cenotaph for the ceremony.
Queanbeyan-Palerang mayor Tim Overall spoke about the thousands of Australians and hundreds of Queanbeyan residents who had died for their country over the past 103 years, before handing the microphone over to Merici College student Olivia Straker.
Miss Straker said her role was a “great privilege”.
She said freedom only exists as long as people are here to defend it.
- READ MORE: Queanbeyan Dawn Service 2018
Wreaths were laid by a number of community organisations and school groups before the parade re-commenced following The Ode, a minute’s silence and the national anthem.
Meanwhile, the crowd sweltered under the hot sun of an unseasonably warm April day.
After the ceremony, Member for Monaro and NSW deputy premier John Barilaro said he was grateful to commemorate the day in his hometown with his family.
“It’s just great to be here back at Anzac Day in Queanbeyan,” Mr Barilaro said.
“It’s a day when we just stop in our busy lives to remember the supreme sacrifice so many men and women make on behalf of all Australians, and as Australians we enjoy that freedom and democracy today,” he said.
“It is nice to come together as a community, to put everything aside and do so in what is a sombre moment, but also a moment for Australians to, in one way, come together to remind ourselves how important our democratic process is, and how important democracy is and the price that people have paid for it.”
Member for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly also attended the march and ceremony with his wife Rachelle. As an ex-serviceman Anzac Day holds extra significance for Dr Kelly.
“First and foremost it’s a day for me to remember colleagues and friends that lost their lives,” Dr Kelly said.
Every generation of Dr Kelly’s family has had members serve in the armed forces and he said it was a time to reflect on what they had passed onto him.
He marched adorned with his own medals and the medals of his two grandfathers whom he often thinks of in difficult times to remind himself their struggle far outweighed his own.
“It’s important to think how you can make yourself a better person, to make the most of the opportunities they have given us.”
Dr Kelly said it was important to remember “families are part of the service” and recognise the sacrifices they make for the servicemen and women of Australia.
He recalled the difficulty of leaving his wife and young son at home on his various deployments and how he recorded himself reading story books for Rachelle to play to his son as a child.
Cr Overall gave an address at the service and said he was thrilled to see such a “wonderful turnout”.
Cr Overall said with Queanbeyan being so close to the Australian War Memorial it was pleasing to see so many choosing to attend the Queanbeyan ceremony.
He said an estimated 2000 people attended the dawn service with considerably more were on hand for the main service.
“It was particularly moving to see the families of fallen soldiers and school children laying wreaths,” Cr Overall said
Cr Overall’s father John Overall was a highly decorated WWII veteran and Cr Overall was a platoon commander at Kapooka, NSW during the Vietnam War where he trained several battalions
He said men he had trained had later been killed in the war and it was particularly moving to remember them.