By JENI FAULKNER
UNDER a starry sky and the glow of a full moon, Coffs Harbour residents paid tribute to fallen Diggers at the Anzac Day dawn service.
In the still of the pre-dawn more then 600 people gathered to share a hope for peace and, with the utmost respect, they prayed for those who lived and those that died at war.
At the ceremony they heard that this year marked 90 years since 8000 Australians died and about 18,000 others were injured on the fateful shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Those who set their alarm clocks and faced the cool morning to pay their respects, believed theirs was merely a small sacrifice in return.
Many attended the service in suits, some decorated with medals, while others dressed more in tune with the coastal way before heading out for a daybreak surf.
Adults, children, teenagers and couples stood in silence for the 30-minute service, with many wiping away tears.
Warrant Officer Class Two Robert Lachinund, in his first Coffs Harbour dawn service address, said he was confident the Anzac Spirit was strong.
"Anzac Day is more than a national holiday . . . Anzac Day is not merely a date," Mr Lachinund said. "It is a spirit reflected on Australian courage, discipline and reliance."
Mr Lachinund said although the Gallipoli campaign was a failure it symbolised the mateship of Australia and this was why people gave up their morning.
"The Anzac spirit is in each and everyone of us. It is the memory of those we honour."