Bendigo dawn service honours the fallen

BENDIGONIANS young and old reflected on the true meaning of Anzac Day at the dawn service yesterday.

The cold, crisp morning was not enough to dampen the spirits of the thousands of people who attended the ceremony.

The service began with a march by past and present service people and their families, before local bush poet Peter Worthington recited a poem.

Afterwards the crowd stood in silence as the Last Post was sounded and Bendigo Youth Choir followed with the national anthem. 

Bendigo and District RSL president Cliff Richards gave the Anzac address and said the national day was not a glorification of war. 

“Anzac Day strengthens us in the resolve to live to the ideals and values that have been a great force in the shaping and development of this nation,” he said in the address. 

“We are here today to ensure the ideals of freedom and peace, the legacy given to us at an enormous cost, continues to grow.

“(And) we take time on this Anzac Day to rekindle friendships and remember the fallen.”                   Anita Bluemore attended the service with her father, Kevin Berry, who served in the army for a number of years.

Ms Bluemore said her father was called upon to fight in the Vietnam War but a decision was made to stop sending troops before he left Australia.

“We wouldn’t miss the dawn service for the world,” she said.

“It is about everyone getting together and carrying on the tradition of the Anzac spirit.”

Mr Berry said it was important to remember the sacrifices people made to give Australians the lifestyle they enjoyed today. 

“The world is not always a good place,” he said.

“We have to defend our freedom and fight for our right to live peacefully.”

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