An estimated crowd of 35,000 visitors gathered this morning at the Australian War Memorial for the 2019 Anzac Day Dawn Service.
Memorial Director Dr Brendan Nelson said he was proud of the continuing commitment and dedication of everyday Australians to the annual commemoration of Anzac Day.
“The attendance at this year’s Dawn Service shows the enduring connection so many people have to Anzac Day and what it represents for our servicemen and servicewomen – and indeed for all Australians.”
“On Anzac Day we always pause to commemorate the landings on Gallipoli in 1915, but the day has become so much more. It is the day we remember the commitment and sacrifice of all our men and women who have served in conflicts and on operational service, and those who continue to serve today. Although not stated, we pause to recommit ourselves to one another, our nation and the ideals of mankind,” said Dr Nelson.
“We were honored today to have Corporal Mark Donaldson VC deliver the Dawn Service Commemorative Address. Donaldson possesses qualities that are truly Australian. He has shown extraordinary bravery in the face of the enemy, and his story of courage, fortitude, and dedication inspires us in our everyday lives.”
In 2019 the Memorial’s mission continues with a renewed focus on contemporary conflicts and operations, as well as honoring those who served in all conflicts since the Boer War.
For the seventh year in a row, images of Australian servicemen and servicewomen were projected onto the front façade of the Memorial ahead of the Dawn Service. In addition, an audio-visual presentation featuring reflections of those affected by military service in Afghanistan was played on the large screens around the grounds. The pre-dawn proceedings also featured a series of readings by Australian servicemen and servicewomen.
The Dawn Service commenced with Wing Commander Jonathan Lilley, Air Force Senior Indigenous Liaison Officer and member of the Worimi people, playing the didgeridoo from the parapet of the Memorial. This was followed by the Dawn Service Commemorative Address.
“We encourage those who could not join us at the Dawn Service today to come to the National Ceremony, which commences at 10.30 am,” said Dr Nelson.
This year’s Anzac Day veterans’ march will be reviewed by His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.
His Excellency will also deliver the National Ceremony Commemorative Address, his last in his capacity as Governor-General.
The Memorial will open to the public following the conclusion of the National Ceremony at approximately 1 pm.
Greg Kimball Media Relations Manager 0409 600 038