Tears wiped away during Bargara Anzac Dawn Service
"I WASN'T proud. I was frightened. I was scared stiff."
These words recorded by a digger echoed across Bargara foreshore this morning as thousands crowded around for the dawn service.
Led by Division 5 councillor Greg Barnes, and with the HMAS Yarra as a backdrop casting light over the dark hours of the early morning, the service left many wiping away tears.
Bag pipes rang out as a procession of veterans, their families, representatives of the three armed services, school children and community groups marched down the main street.
Crosses made by Bargara school children dotted the lawn in front of the Anzac memorial statue, with touching messages inscribed on the back. These will later travel to Vignacourt, France to lay at the feet of Australian soldiers lost in the wars.
"The emotion that comes through those messages is unbelievable," Cr Barnes said.
As the sun rose on the estimated 10,000 packed in for the service, it was eleven-year-old Connor Dwyer whose message touched home.
Speaking clearly, and with maturity beyond his years, Connor paid tribute to the sacrifice of so many.
"The tragedy today is that as we speak this morning, war is still ravaging parts of our world," he said.
"Civilians are still dying and we are still losing our young soldiers.
"How do we stop this?"
The Bargara School Choir then performed Can You Hear The Children Marching? written by teacher Nathan Cahill.
Pastor Brian Robertson, led the service in prayer, acknowledging the cost of war.
"Freedom is not free, it costs. It's not to be taken for granted. May we never forget them, may we not forget that lesson," he said.
All eyes then turned to the sky as a Mustang 769 flew overheard and gave a wing-tip salute to the sailors on board the HMAS Yarra.
The Last Post was followed by a minute's silence and the Australian and New Zealand national anthems, sung by the choir.
Cr Barnes said he could not have hoped for better.
"It was a great service, fantastic," he said.