A large crowd gathered at Memorial Park in Grafton at 6am on Monday to attend the 2022 Anzac Day Dawn Service.
Honourable Secretary of the Grafton RSL Sub-branch Denis Benfield, the MC for the event, told the Clarence Valley Independent it was wonderful to see so many people come together and pay their respects.
As attendees were formally welcomed beneath a brightening sky, Clarence Valley Councillor Debrah Novak presented the prologue before Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan read the Anzac Address.
“Today, April 25, is a special day for Australians and New Zealanders,” he said.
“It is a day when we remember our fallen in war, beginning with those who fell on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.
“It is a day when we remember their pain and sacrifice, their losses and joys.
“We remember today and salute our allies from that war and from the ones that followed, as we also remember the courage and determination of the Turks, once our foes, now our friends, who defended their homeland with great skill and vigour.
“The respect that our Anzacs came to show their Turkish enemies has healed wounds and built a friendship between three nations, perhaps unique in war.
“This year marks the 107th anniversary of the beginning of the great war.
“We remember the fallen and the gift to us of their sacrifice.
“As is written on the memorial to the fallen of the Kohima battlefield of WWII, ‘we gave our today for your tomorrow’.
“Lest we forget.”
After the Reverend Canon Camellia Flanagan delivered the Anzac Prayer and the Prayer of Forgiveness, the crowd bowed their heads and turned to face the west in a united show of respect as The Last Post sounded.
As the Dawn Service concluded, many people vowed to return to Memorial Park for the Commemoration Service later in the morning.