Between the fields of poppies they came.
First were the shrine guards, sombre in their Light Horse infantry uniforms.
They stood still, guns lowered, guarding the eternal flame burning in the memory of the fallen soldier.
The poppies glinted brightly. The carpet of the 190,000 knitted and crochet flowers, now recognised as a symbol for remembering those who served and suffered in battle, were part of the 5000 poppies project.
It was started by Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight as a personal tribute to their fathers who had fought in World War II.
Another 12,500 poppies graced the embankments leading to the shrine.
This year marks the 99th anniversary of the Armistice - now known as Remembrance Day - which ended the First World War in 1918.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and hundreds of men, women and children stood in the strong sun at the Shrine of Remembrance to watch a ceremony steeped heavily in military protocol and tradition.
All that could be heard was the whisper of a child and the twittering of birds. Then the silence was broken by the sound of a primary school children's drum corps.
A fly-past of Sopwith Pup and Tiger Moth aircrafts from the RAAF Museum and Heritage Centres took the crowds back in time.
Then there was a gun salute followed by the Last Post, played by special guests Belgian buglers Rik and Dirk Vanderckhove???.
And with that, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, everyone stood silent to pay their homage to those no longer here.
Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau??? said the day was all about remembering - remembering those who served, remembering the sacrifices and remembering the heavy price so many had paid.
"The debt that we owe to those who have served must not be forgotten," Ms Dessau said.
"It must not be forgotten because they gave so very much. And it must not be forgotten because we must always remember the human cost of conflict and war."
She hoped the "list of sacrifices" to be remembered didn't grow any longer between now and the next Remembrance Day.
Conor Reeves, 12, who was at the ceremony with the his parents and brother, said he had heard about the war from his "poppy" who had been in the army.
He said the government shouldn't send their citizens to fight other people's wars.
"[But the soldiers] are doing it for us, for our freedom, and I thank them for that," Conor said.
Alan "Kanga" Moore, a World War II veteran, who served on the Kokoda Track with the 39th Battalion, said Remembrance Day always reminded him of his mates who hadn't made it home.
"My thoughts are not very pleasant ever because they go back to those of my mates who are not here," Mr Moore said.
"In particular, I remember several of them who were close friends who are buried in the Bomana war cemetery in Port Moresby [in Papua New Guinea].
"However, life has to go on and we can only hope that the futility of war will be recognised one day and the time will come when we don't have anymore of it."