As the first lights of dawn emerged in the skies above Anzac Cove to mark the 95th anniversary of the fateful ANZAC Gallipoli landing, those who gathered to commemorate proved the spirit of those heroic soldiers lives on.
Almost to the minute when the ANZACs landed at Anzac Cove in 1915, an estimated 7000 Australians, New Zealanders and Turks paused together in silence at the Anzac Cove Dawn Service in Gallipoli on Sunday, to honour the 46,000 diggers who gave to their country in the tragic World War I campaign.
Reports from the frontline proclaim the Dawn Service truly possessed the ANZAC human qualities of sacrifice, courage and mateship.
Despite travel disruptions from Iceland’s volcanic explosion ruining many travel plans, organisers believe many made their own sacrifices with numbers still high.
Also see: Anzac Day at Gallipoli – what you need to know
Anzac Day spirit makes Australians proud
Australian traveller Sarah Oxley also attended the event. She said the experience is one which made her proud to be Australian.
Ms Oxley said she took the chance to attend the Gallipoli services gave her a personal sense of how and why the ANZAC legend has become an important symbol of Australia’s national identity.
“Just to stand there, and watch the sun rise and be exactly where the soldiers were was amazing,” Ms Oxley said.
She said it is an experience that is something all Australians should take part in.
“It moved me more than I expected. The services at home in Australia are always special, but to be standing there where those men were was emotional.”
“And to see that the Turkish are proud for the ANZACs too was great. Even though they were enemies, the countries have come together to recognise the sacrifice that was made in Gallipoli.”
Two Turkish officers read the words of Kemal Attaturk, the founder of modern Turkey and who led the Turkish defence against the British-led Gallipoli invasion, who wrote a tribute to the ANZACs in 1934.
“There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours,” wrote Attaturk.
“You, the mothers, who send their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace.”
Wreaths of remembrance were also laid during the service by government representatives of Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
As the sun rose, about 4000 people walked to the Lone Pine Memorial for the traditional Australian commemorative service.
Addressing the crowd, visiting Australian Governor General Quinten Bryce said ANZAC Day represents love.
“Love of every kind: love of nation, of service, of family…this is what enables us to forgive and to learn from our success and our failures,” she said.
“It reminds us why we must never let go of ANZAC Day.”
Back in Australia, tens of thousands of Australians and New Zealanders attended ANZAC Day services.
More coverage: Thousands gather for London Anzac Day services