ANZAC Day March - April 25, 2005
The Anzac legend enjoyed a resurgence of support on its 90th anniversary, with big increases in attendances at Victoria's dawn service and veterans' march. Up to 30,000 people packed Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance for the Anzac Day dawn service, well above attendances of 20,000 people in previous years.
Meanwhile, the veterans' parade in the city centre had more than 12,500 veterans and their families marching and thousands more cheering them on a mild and sunny autumn day. Chief marshal of the Anzac Day parade Lieutenant Colonel Paul Riley said while official figures were not yet available, today's attendances surpassed last year. "In terms of the dawn service we know that the attendances are well up there ... and in my estimation the public that's turned out to view the parade is certainly up on last year," he said.
Today's parade featured a large contingent of children and grandchildren of war veterans proudly wearing war medals on their chests and carrying black-and-white photos of their relatives as they marched towards the Shrine of Remembrance. A seemingly endless crowd of up to five-deep lined along Swanston Street, starting from Collins Street up to the Shrine to cheer on the parade that lasted for more than three hours. The crowd included lots of young children, families and teenagers, demonstrating the day had not lost its meaning for later generations.
World War II veteran Bill Kilpatrick, who has not missed an Anzac Day parade in 60 years, welcomed the surge of young people attending the march. "It's nice to be recognised; there's a lot of young people here who learn more about the history of wars," the 86-year-old said. "I hope they will learn and there will never be another war."
Today is the 90th anniversary of the ill-fated Anzac landing at Gallipoli - in the same year as the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in August 1945 and the fall of Saigon 30 years ago this month that spelled the end of the Vietnam War.Story from The (Melbourne) Age (AAP). Pictures by Betty Taylor.
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