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Not forgotten: Tens of thousands gather for Anzac dawn service

FULL REPORT

Tens of thousands of Victorians have stood in eerie silence for the Anzac Day dawn service at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance.

Despite the relatively pleasant weather — dry and remaining above 10° — 25,000 people attended the service, a drop of about 10,000 on 2018.

Shrine chief executive Dean Lee said the crowd decrease is more a reflection on the timing of Easter and Anzac Day, and that he was “very pleased” with the turnout.

Premier Daniel Andrews told the solemn crowd to not only reflect on the lives lost in battle, but also the lives destroyed by the psychological scars of war.

“Ladies and gentlemen, let us all remember and cherish what we have been given; the greatest of gifts secured at a still greater price,” he said.

“How can we possibly thank so many for giving so much? How can we honour those who gave their future, that we might enjoy safety and security in ours? How do we express supreme gratitude to those who made the supreme sacrifice?

“The answer is as simple as it is powerful. Stand here, at this hour, in this still, dark, sacred place, and remember them.”

Security has been tightened around the service this year.

Picket and steel fences have been erected, reflecting the heightened tensions following the Sri Lankan terror attacks.

The crowd started moving on about 6.30am, with many buying a poppy and taking advantage of a hearty gunfire breakfast outside the Victoria Barracks.

Click PLAY to hear Denis O’Kane’s 6AM news bulletin live from the dawn service

FULL REPORT
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