- Thousands line streets to honour ANZAC legend -
Some brought prams, others had walking frames and a few
came straight from the pubs.
It was a larger crowd for the ANZAC Day dawn service than last year, police estimated, with more than 15,000 surrounding the Martin Place Cenotaph by 4.30am, the hour that ANZAC troops landed at Gallipoli 88 years ago.
The Governor, Marie Bashir, read the traditional dedication about the "baptism of fire", and then representatives of Turkey, New Zealand, Britain, the United States, Canada and the Solomon Islands laid wreaths.
Dawn wreath-laying at the Cenotaph
The Premier, Bob Carr, and Opposition Leader, John Brogden, also paid their respects.
When the hymns and official ceremony ended, and the veterans had marched off for a few drinks nearby, the crowd poured through the barricades to stand by the Cenotaph and its massive bronze sculpture of two diggers.
Ian Hills, 55, of Manly, said it was his first dawn service. "I`m finally getting around to it. It`s something that I have always wanted to do, and I just hope that the peace brigades stay away," he said.
Chanene Tere, of Kingsgrove, and Yvonne Sekope, of Campsie, both 18, were also attending their first dawn service. "I wanted to see Australian troops - such courageous people," Ms Tere said.
At the dawn barbecue and two-up session were veterans including Arnold Pepper, 75, of Bossley Park.
"We didn`t have time for two-up in Korea," said Mr Pepper, who was wounded as an infantryman. "I was evacuated to Japan, but I went back to Korea afterwards. Most (wounde) blokes who could, went back.
"It was because we were a volunteer army. It was hard to get reinforcements, so you wanted to get back to your mates, and quite a few of my friends got killed over there," said Mr Pepper, who has marched since 1955.
As the veterans and their admirers took their places for the parade to begin, the man to lead it all arrived - Marcel Caux, a 104-year-old veteran of World War I`s western front.
And although his service was longer ago than most Australians` lifespan, Mr Caux remembered it too well: "I cry all the way round (the march)," he said.
More than 20,000 people cheered on the marchers in Sydney`s city centre.
In Canberra, around 20,000 people attended the service at the Australian War Memorial. .
The former deputy prime minister and Vietnam veteran, Tim Fischer, led 50 people in a dawn service at the Australian Agricultural Company`s 600,000-hectare Wrotham Park Station, west of Cairns in far north Queensland.
"It meant a lot to have a service at Wrotham Park, because in World War II it formed part of the supply routes to Papua New Guinea," Mr Fischer said. "It was a very moving service."
Locals at Thursday Island`s dawn service were stunned when newlyweds Russell Crowe and Danielle Spencer turned up, after mooring their chartered yacht off nearby Horn Island.
Thousands lined Orient Street at Batemans Bay for the traditional ANZAC Day march despite torrential rain, after nearly 100 had gathered for the dawn service.
More than 200 people attended Coffs Harbour`s dawn service, while at Bourke more than 100 made the main service.
by Sydney Morning Herald
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