A brisk autumn morning wasn't enough to stop the people of Wodonga from pouring into Woodland Grove to pay their respects to those that have served at this year's ANZAC Day dawns service .
Unlike the 2020 dawn service which was completely hamstrung by COVID-19 restrictions, the park was overflowing with those looking to pay their respects.
Organisers were unsure what to expect given the events of last year, but were ecstatic to see well over 500 people standing with them in solemnity and solidarity.
You could hear the pride in Wodonga RSL president Jim Begley's voice as he took in the crowd that surrounded him.
"This is a fantastic roll up, believe you me," Mr Begley said.
Silence hung heavy in the air before the lone bugler Ross Draper's sonorous tones cut through the centre of Wodonga and filled the streets with the sounds of The Last Post.
Mr Begley spoke of the disappointment he and many others felt at not being able to march this year.
"There is no march, which is just unbelievably sad.
"I hope the men and women who will not be able to march here realise why and forgive us."
Following the dawn service club vice-president Kevyn WIlliams expressed his own astonishment at the amount of attendees.
"I was truly amazed at the turn out and the main thing is that everyone remembered what they were there for, paying respects to those that made the ultimate sacrifice.
"The crowd was fantastic and even a lot of the young ones were there."
Mr Begley was bursting with pride when speaking about the service at the following breakfast served at the RSL.
"It felt great, we thought at one stage that we'd finish up with a hundred people there, but it was marvelous how many people came out for a walk this morning.
"We'd love to get rid of the COVID thing, but I believe we're going to be stuck with it for a long time so we've got to get around it somehow.
"If we could organise to have the march without massive burdens on us, we would, but we just don't have those kinds of capabilities.
"What we did here at the club for breakfast took us three days alone to put together."
The effort wasn't wasted as dozens of those who had paid their respects at Woodland Grove made the trip to the Wodonga RSL for breakfast and to continue the day.
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