GREY skies threatened to burst at any moment, autumn leaves tumbled down and thousands of people gathered to remember those who had fallen in the name of Australia’s freedoms.
Despite Orange recording its coldest Anzac Day yesterday, thousands of people gathered to pay their respects to Defence Force personnel past and present.
It was a solemn crowd that lined the street to watch the diggers, cadets and school students march towards the commemoration service in Robertson Park.
Despite the thousands of onlookers there was no cheering or loud voices, just clapping, serious expressions and the occasional nod at a digger for a job well done.
Pastor John Shuttleworth led the service and asked the crowd to think of those buried in foreign graves as well as those in Australia who perished during hard-fought campaigns.
“Pray for those who gave so much in our honour of need and those who never returned,” he said.
Pastor Shuttleworth said remembering fallen soldiers on Anzac Day was very important and made reference to the number of schools in attendance at the ceremony.
“It’s not about glorifying war, it’s not about who won or lost, it goes much deeper,” he said.
Pastor Shuttleworth said yesterday’s service was also a time to recognise our New Zealand brothers in arms and “the Indigenous community that have served beside us.”
“Anzac Day is an opportunity to remember all of those who have died and served in the war. It’s a day to reflect, to remember the price that was paid,” he said.
One of the largest groups to march yesterday was the Kinross Wolaroi School Cadet Unit, with more than 200 cadets in attendance, according to Commanding Officer Lyn Vernon.
“It’s important for them to recognise and commemorate the efforts of those people who have died for them,” she said.