Anzac Day 2019 in Bellingen

Hundreds gathered to watch Bellingen's Anzac Day march and to observe the commemoration service conducted by President of the Bellinger River RSL Sub Branch, Major Rick Maunder (Ret'd).

Major Maunder noted that Anzac Day is much more than the date of some past campaign: it has become part of our national ethos, a time to reflect on qualities of courage, discipline, self-sacrifice, self-reliance, resourcefulness and friendship.

"What we commemorate today is no military triumph but the courage and endurance of those who did their duty," he said.

"We also pay tribute to the young Turkish soldiers, who suffered appalling losses so bravely defending their homeland from invasion."

He said for Australians, New Zealanders and Turks, Anzac Day is part of their national identity.

"Our defining moment is a military defeat at Gallipoli. The casualties were horrendous - 8000 Australians were killed and 78,000 wounded. Of all the battlefields on which Australians have fought and died, this disastrous campaign has come to symbolise Australian servicemen and women's courage, determination, humour and mateship."

Major Maunder also reminded the crowd of the 3500 Australians who are currently serving their country overseas.