Crowds at the Anzac Dawn Ceremony of Remembrance at Penshurst War Memorial this morning were urged to preserve the legacy of the Anzac legend of mateship, equality and courage in the face of adversity.
The annual combined Dawn Service of the Penshurst, Mortdale and Oatley RSL Sub-Branches was this year hosted by the Penshurst RSL Sub-Branch with its president, John Hoban acting as Master of Ceremonies.
Officers from RAAF Richmond provided the Catafalque Party and the Air League Riverwood Squadron provided the Memorial Guard.
Singer Bronte Horder sang The Recessional and the National Anthem and bugler Lauren Smart played The Last Post and Reveille.
The Anzac Dedication was given by Mortdale Sub-Branch President John Delaney. It was a special Anzac for Mortdale RSL Sub-Branch which celebrated its 100th anniversary on March 13.
The Epilogue was read by Oatley Sub-Branch president, Bill Wright, and the Ode to the Fallen read by Penshurst RSL Sub-Branch member Barry Stevenson.
In a moving speech, Penshurst RSL Sub-Branch vice-president, Kim Thompson spoke of the Anzac qualities of endurance and resilience in times of hardship.
"Naysayers say that today is a glorification of war. It is not," Mr Thompson said.
"It is the act of commemorating those who gave their lives or suffered in war so that we could live the life we live today in the best country in the world.
"There are no real winners in war and many innocents suffer. Therefore, as a nation, we should avoid war as best we can.
"We can take positive steps to avoid war. To avoid war we must remember our history so that we don't repeat the same mistakes of the past.
"Most importantly, we must maintain a very strong defence capability as a deterrent to a would be aggressor.
"Anzac Day does not glorify war. There are two things that we must do each and every Anzac Day.
"The first is to honour the memory of all those Australian men and women who served and died in war in the service of Australia in all conflicts.
"The second is to preserve the values that are the legacy of the Anzac legend. Those values include, courage in the face of adversity, mateship and equality, endurance and resilience in times of hardship and a sense of humour even in the darkest of times.
"They are Australian values, they are good values and they must be preserved."