VIDEO: Annual march shows Gympie's powerful Anzac spirit
ANZAC Day pride remained as powerful as ever in the Gympie region well into yesterday's commemorations, with crowd numbers well into the thousands lining Mary St to witness the annual march make its way through the CBD.
On a day which began with an emotional Memorial Lane dawn service underneath the eternal flame, and continued with another poignant ceremony on Normanby Hill, young and old came together to pause for thought and remembrance as veterans, cadets and school students marched past.
Toddlers sat on their fathers' shoulders to get a good view, while older kids sat alongside their parents outside the Royal Hotel, waiting to give a wave and a round of applause to returned soldiers from World War II all the way through to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Some viewers took to standing on the Mary St Arcade roof to grab a better view of the passing parade.
The vast majority of Gympie region schools were well-represented by participating students, some of which wore medals passed down from their families, while others played their parts in marching bands performing the likes of Waltzing Matilda and When The Saints Go Marching In.
An eye-catching feature came from the flypasts of the iconic North American T-28 Trojan, piloted by Ross Parker and reaching speeds up to 400km/h.
The parade finished in Memorial Park, where crowds remained to embrace long-held traditions like the Ode of Remembrance, The Last Post, the minute's silence and the Australian national anthem.
Distinguished speaker and Vietnam veteran David Collins reflected on his 39-year career in the Royal Australian Air Force between 1960 and 1999, which included flying more than 600 missions in South Vietnam resupplying the Army with personnel, ammunition, food and water as a helicopter airman.
He encouraged the crowd to "give a wave” the next time they saw a veteran, or an army truck driving up and down the highway.
"Lest we forget,” he concluded.
Rising musical talent Alison Jensen performed her original Aussie anthem Mate by Mate, and Karen De Vere closed the ceremony with a rendition of Waltzing Matilda, echoing Gympie RSL Club board member Col Morley's call to end the commemoration with a celebration.