Courage, self-reliance and mateship.
“These three words sum up the fighting spirit of the men and women who fought for Australia,” Army Warrant Officer Colin Watego said in the commemoration address at Monday’s Anzac Day service in Byron Bay.
Watched by hundreds at the service, Warrant Officer Watego said the Anzacs had put community first and were proud of their Australian heritage.
“Some of the men who landed on a beach in Gallipoli in 1915 were just 16-years-old,” he said.
“They were anxious to prove their courage and their national identity and with the spirit of the Anzacs it’s our responsibility to pass that spirit on to future generations.”
Warrant Officer Watego said Anzac Day was not a day to glorify war, nor praise the victors, but was a day to reflect on those who served for their country and made the ultimate sacrifice.
He said some had paid in blood, to achieve the country’s freedom.
“We salute the Anzacs and take the opportunity to invigorate national pride,” Warrant Officer Watego said.
“It’s so good to see so many young people here today and it’s the younger generation that holds the future of our nation in their hands.”
The commemoration service, led by the president of the Byron Bay RSL sub-branch, Ted Fenton, also included laying of wreaths at the memorial gates and the playing of the Last Post by Byron Bay bugler Brian Pamphilon.
Earlier, hundreds marched down Jonson Street to the memorial gates.
Glorious sunshine also attracted hundreds to Anzac Day services in Bangalow and Mullumbimby.
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