Albury's War Memorial was illuminated unlike previous years for a gathering equally as atypical on Anzac Day 2021.
The light bouncing off the snow-white, upgraded memorial allowed attendees to scan government QR Codes as they checked in.
It was a requirement for the people who gathered in numbers much smaller than usual.
However, the return of observers on the hill signalled the shift towards "COVID-normal" that has taken place since April 25, 2020.
Albury RSL sub-branch president Graham Docksey gave thanks to those residents who were listening to a live-stream of the service at their homes for a second year.
"This year, due to the public health orders in place, only veterans and descendants were permitted to attend," he said.
"I warmly welcome those that made their way otherwise.
"Please enjoy the remainder of the day, and remember that over 102,000 men and women gave their lives in the service of this wonderful country of ours.
"At 4.30am on this very day, 106 years ago, soldiers of the ninth, 10th and 11th battalions of the third brigade of the Australian Imperial Force came ashore at Gallipoli.
"Nationhood is frequently forged in the crucible of battle.
"Freedom is not free. Please stay safe, lest we forget."
In some ways the group of 500 was a reminder of the first Anzac Days, master of ceremonies Nigel Horne said.
"In many cases, in earlier times, attendance was restricted only to veterans as it is today," he said.
Mark Bartleson, the grandson of the man who built the memorial, Thomas Henry Bartleson, was there to witness the memorial in its renewed glory.
"The timing was right to come up here and do the dawn service," he said.
"My father was the youngest of 11, and I came to know about the memorial, coming and visiting.
"I've actually seen a couple of upgrades, so it's changed, and it's still a very impressive sight.
"What the council has done has been very good."
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Mr Bartleson said it was always a strange feeling to stand where his grandfather might have, contemplating his work in 1925.
"I didn't know him but heard many different stories about how it was constructed," he said.
"He lost a son in World War I and when the tender was put out for this to be built, he wanted to be involved.
"I was here when they did the dedication.
"It's hard to explain the feeling really, I'm just very proud, my parents both served as well."
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