Authorities have assured the public there’s no specific terror threat to Anzac services in NSW. Thousands attended the Sydney Anzac Day dawn service in Martin Place.
More than 30 years in the military has meant Conrad Glindemann has missed some key moments in his son’s life, but he wasn’t going to pass the opportunity to take the 10-year-old to his first Anzac Day dawn service in Sydney this year.
The serving Royal Australian Air Force officer, based in Richmond, stood proudly alongside son Hayden at the Martin Place ceremony on Wednesday to pay tribute to Australia’s servicemen and women.
Mr Glindemann said Hayden started walking while he was away from home during one of his two tours to the Middle East.
“There’s always part of your life that you miss because you’re so far away from everything,” he told AAP.
He said Wednesday’s service was “quality Dad and son time” and was likely to help Hayden better understand his job, though he has already developed a strong interest in the military.
“He’s always been wanting to come.”
Air Commander Australia, Air Vice Marshall Steven Roberton, delivered the address at the ceremony lauding the original Anzacs, members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915.
He said Anzac Day is a day to celebrate the Australian spirit, not to glorify war, and stressed its legacy must be continued more than 100 years after the tragic landing.
“Anzac signifies strength and quality of character, attitude and action that transcends time,” he told the thousands gathered in the heart of Sydney.
“The challenge for us here this morning is to ensure that the spirit of Anzac is passed on to our children and, in so doing, honour the fallen and their sacrifice.”
That challenge was met by Suzanne and Paul Smith and their adult son Matthew, who, after decades of attending the dawn service together, brought Matthew’s five-year-old Xavier into the fold for the first time.
Ms Smith, whose own father was a serviceman, said it’s important that future generations appreciate the sacrifices of those who came before them.
“They’re growing up in a different world now, so it makes a big difference,” she told AAP.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek and NSW Governor David Hurley were among the official attendees.
Later, female veterans will lead the march in Sydney for the first time to mark 103 years since Anzac troops landed on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey.
Security will be tight, with steel bollards positioned along the Sydney CBD march route, while CCTV and airport-style bag checks will be utilised as uniformed and plain-clothes police patrol the streets.
However, authorities stressed on Tuesday there were no known security threats for NSW during Anzac Day commemorations.
Australian Associated Press