The rain did not deter the hundreds of people who lined both sides of Katoomba Street to watch and applaud the Anzac Day march in Katoomba last Friday.
The march, which included numerous schools, RSL members, armed services, the Katoomba/Leura Rural Fire Brigade, a marching band, and 8 Field Ambulance, proceeded to the Katoomba RSL Club.
There, numerous wreaths were laid at the cenotaph, and Katoomba RSL All Services Club president Brian Turner spoke of the great sacrifices made by the Anzacs 99 years ago.
The commemorative service then moved to Katoomba Public School for addresses and hymns. Katoomba RSL sub-branch senior vice-president Owen Wood said 416,000 Australians had enlisted to serve in World War I, a significant portion of Australia’s population which stood at just under five million in 1915. Some 160,000 of those who enlisted returned home injured or ill. He said the soldiers’ mateship and courage was an inspiration to others.
Glenbrook RAAF Wing Commander Brett Risstrom spoke of commemorating the sacrifice of all those who had served in war, conflict and operations throughout Australia’s history, and those currently serving.
“Whatever the conflict, the underlying premise of bravery, comradeship and mateship remains. I urge all veterans, young and old, to keep the Anzac spirit alive and continue supporting the service organisations post your defence service.”
It was also important to remember the families of servicemen and women who have suffered or continue to suffer through war or conflict.
“It is hard to describe the importance of family support when on operations, and I ask you to give special thanks to the families of our fallen as well,” Commander Risstrom said.
“The spirit of the Anzacs still guide us and inspire us in the service today ... We remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live in peace. It is a day of thanks and quiet reflection on what a wonderful, safe and lucky country we live in.”