ANZAC DAY: Gympie commemorates at dawn
LITTLE Brayden Manning and his mother Michelle were among hundreds of people who gathered before the rising of the sun at Gympie's ANZAC Day dawn service this morning.
Brayden, whose shirt was weighed down with the medals his grandfather earnt in the second World War, held a single poppy in his hand.
His cheeky smile and innocent twirling of the little red flower, as much a symbol of the Australian spirit as the medals on his chest.
Yet one could only follow from the other and that's what the gathering crowd was reminded of at Memorial Park this morning. Generations of serviceman, ex-servicemen, the families left behind and school and community organisation representatives marched from Mary St to gather at the park.
"On this day 101 years ago Australian troops landed at Gallipoli," master of ceremonies, Ivan Friske, of Gympie's RSL, told the crowd.
Gallipoli was not the only battle Australians fought, and had by no means was it a successful one, but it was the first major battle Australians fought as a nation, he said.
"It's a tragedy we can all relate with," he said.
"Our democracy was threatened in such a degree we were forced to go to war."
He said the courage, resolution and self-sacrifice of those who served make up part of our great Australian story.
"We honour those who died for us," he said.
"We do not celebrate or glorify war, we celebrate the human spirit - the spirt of ANZAC."
Wreathes were formally laid at the Cenotaph and those gathered were invited to place poppies.
The Last Post was sounded, as the noisy chatter of birds spilling about in the trees in the background was another reminder of how lucky we are.
A minute's silence was observed.
As Brayden's third ANZAC Day dawn service came to a close, his mother pointed out.
"It's important to keep the spirit going and to pass it onto the next generation."