An estimated record 120,000 visitors flocked to the Australian War Memorial today for the Anzac Day Dawn Service – an increase of more than 80,000 on last year.
Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, said he’s proud of this year’s Dawn Service attendance.
“It fills me with pride that so many people have come to commemorate Anzac Day, on this most significant national occasion, at the Australian War Memorial,” Dr Nelson said.
“One hundred years after the landing on Gallipoli, this day resonates deeply with Australians young and old and it is heartening to see so many people at the Memorial and in other services around the country.
“Despite this focus on the Centenary of the Gallipoli landing, it’s important to also remember the commitment and sacrifices of all our servicemen and servicewomen in conflicts since the First World War, and those who continue to serve today.”
For the third year in a row, images of Australian soldiers and service women were projected onto the front façade of the Memorial prior to the conduct of the Dawn Service. The pre-dawn service activity also featured a series of readings by Australian service men and women, including Victoria Cross recipient Dan Keighran.
The Dawn Service commenced with an Indigenous naval rating, Alan Patterson, playing the didgeridoo from the parapet of the Memorial.
“We encourage those that could not join us earlier today to come to the National Ceremony commencing at 10.15 am,” Dr Nelson said.
This year’s Anzac Day veterans’ march will be reviewed by the Governor General of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd).
The Memorial will open to the public following the conclusion of the National Ceremony. The Australian War Memorial is a world class museum, a place where Australians can remember and learn about the nation’s experience of war and its enduring impact on our society.
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