AFTER perhaps the biggest dawn service in Grafton in memory, hundreds, maybe thousands, turned out in Grafton on Saturday to commemorate Anzac Day.
And, as is increasingly the trend, it was young people, many of them still at school, who made up the majority of service-goers.
Representatives of many schools in the Valley spoke impressively at the service.
They paid tribute to those who had served and often fallen in order to provide them with the liberty and freedom they enjoy.
Their speeches were more than just words on a page, more than reciting items from history books seemingly removed from their lives.
They spoke with feeling, meaning, understanding and compassion and it seemed clear they related to the sacrifices their forebears, who were not much older than themselves, made in all fields of conflict.
Clarence Valley Anglican School student Emily Ethel told the gathering the Anzac spirit had shaped the way Australians lived and breathed.
McAuley Catholic College captain James Callaghan said that students from his school were in Europe on Anzac Day as part of a history excursion and laid wreaths in foreign lands in honour of the fallen.
Grafton RSL Sub-branch president Brian Bultitude said the dawn service was one of the biggest and best he had attended.
“We are here to remember, honour, respect and never forget,” he said.