Thousands of friends, family and strangers gathered in the darkness at the dawn service yesterday to honour those who fought for Australia.
All murmurs ceased as the catafalque party took their positions, the half-mast flags flapping in the bitingly cold breeze.
Orange RSL sub branch president Brian Merchant was moved by the reverence shown by the exceptionally large crowd.
“Everybody was very quiet and respectful,” he said.
“The Anzac spirit is so strong here in Orange.”
Orange Evangelical Church senior minister Bruce Bennett gave the address, calling upon those gathered to question why they braved the near-freezing temperatures to attend a service conducted in the pitch dark.
“There is one answer and one reason why we gather in these conditions,” he said.
“We gather to honour personal sacrifice because not honouring is less than human.”
Mr Bennett spoke of a town in Belguim called Ypres where more than 90,000 soldiers were killed in World War I and were never identified.
Every night at 8pm the town shuts down for a service in honour of those who were lost.
Mr Bennett said it was this kind of commitment that compelled people to inconvenience themselves in a small way and attend the dawn service.
Derek Johns played the Last Post as the sun slowly crept over the horizon.
A breakfast of rum-laced coffee, sausage rolls, pies and sandwiches followed the cermony at the Orange Ex-Services Club.