After two years of COVID-19 restrictions hampering Anzac Day commemorations, Sydney’s Martin Place has been filled to capacity for the Dawn Service.
David Young, a serving member of the Australian Navy told AAP early on Monday he was back at the service to educate his children about his military career.
“Being in the Navy for 24 years, this is a chance to remind the kids of the history behind why I serve,” he said.
“I’ve lost guys that I’ve served with and it helps to explain what I’ve done in the history of my career.”
At Martin Place with his two children, he said now they were a bit older, he’d brought them for the first time.
Cameron Barnett, 24, from the Scouts told AAP many former members of the youth group ended up going to war, and Anzac Day was of major significance to the organisation.
He said the Scouts were heavily involved in Anzac Day commemorations, and throughout the morning, many were holding umbrellas for elderly veterans in the service.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet arrived with one of his daughters under an umbrella, as patchy rain fell over Martin Place during commemorations.
The premier read the poem Salute, by Sydney Napier, written during the First World War, and published in 1937.
The Governor of NSW Margaret Beazley also arrived under an umbrella carried by the President of RSL NSW Ray James.
Also at the service was Senator Hollie Hughes representing Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and Member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek, representing the Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese.
Delivering the address in Sydney, Major General Matthew Pearse said it was a day to give thanks for all veterans “for their service, their sacrifice, and their resilience”.
“They’re filled with stories of ordinary Australians who pulled together despite adversity to support their mates and put their lives on the line to defend our national interests and secure a brighter future,” the commander of Forces Command said.
Dawn services also took place across Greater Sydney in Parramatta, Penrith, Castle Hill, Southern Liverpool, Granville, Bondi, Coogee, and the Central Coast.
Commemorations are also taking place in regional NSW, including at the Wagga Wagga War Cemetery, the Nowra War Cemetery, and the Deniliquin War Cemetery.
The Royal Australian Air Force will also conduct flyover displays in more than 50 locations across NSW, including in Sydney, Newcastle, Wyong, Cessnock, Ourimbah, Woodburn, Grafton, and Bega.
Games of two-up will be played across NSW pubs and clubs today, for the third consecutive day.