- Large crowds at ANZAC Day services -
Ex-servicemen and women shouldered arms symbolically again on ANZAC Day
to remember their comrades who served in Australia`s military campaigns
past and present.
From the Boer War to Iraq, Friday, April 25, was a day to remember for many veterans and their families in the Pambula-Merimbula-Wyndham area.
Australians who served in past wars and who are serving in peacekeeping roles in the Middle East, East Timor, Bougainville and in other parts of the world were remembered.
A large crowd watches Lieutenant Lee Ryder
from 805 Squadron, HMAS Albatross, Nowra,
lay a wreath at the Pambula war memorial
on ANZAC Day on behalf of the navy.
Veterans started ANZAC Day by mustering at the war memorial in Beach Street, Merimbula, for the dawn service.
After the service, they returned to the Merimbula RSL for a toddy and milk as they prepared for the day ahead.
Pambula veterans started off the main ANZAC Day services in style, mustering outside Goodfellow`s Supermarket in Quondola Street for a short march to the memorial further down the street, kept in time by the Merimbula Brass Band and the Sapphire Coast Concert Band.
Ex-servicemen, their families, representatives of community groups, boy scouts and school children marched past the roundabout to the memorial.
Pambula residents stood in the street and sat in chairs around the memorial to hear the service.
During the service many people laid wreaths at the war memorial including students from Lumen Christi Catholic College students Stephanie Thompson and Joel Robson and their Pambula Public School counterparts Jaqueline Dirou and Lachlan Harley.
The students were presented with books by the Merimbula RSL Sub-branch to commemorate the occasion.
During his speech, Lachlan said: "To me, the commemoration of ANZAC Day is not a glorification of war.
"It is a celebration of the spirit of a nation and it is a time to honour all those who have given their lives and have served in the defence of our country.
"ANZAC Day makes me think about how lucky I am to live in Australia and how much I have to be thankful for."
Merimbula veterans marched from the RSL to the war memorial to the sounds of the brass band, playing at its 30th ANZAC Day ceremony, and the concert band.
Large crowds lined the footpath in Beach Street, waving and cheering as the veterans drove and marched past, followed by the band, school students and representatives of service clubs.
A silent sentinel to the service was a World War II 25-pounder gun that stands beside the war memorial.
Resplendent in a fresh coat of paint and with a brass plaque newly attached, the gun was a poignant reminder of the brutality of war.
At 11am, the service got underway, with a service and a wreath laying ceremony.
Sergeant Dennis Bills, of the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, gave the ANZAC Day address and Merimbula Public School students Hayden Mitchell and Erin Nugent a short talk about their understanding of Anzac Day before being presented with books.
After the service, the bands played a short concert of military music and wartime songs to entertain those people who remained behind to listen after the marchers had dispersed.
by Merimbula News
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