They came with their medals to catch up with mates and pay tribute to those who had fallen.
Some needed walking sticks, wheelchairs or jeeps but it didn't soften their resolve to take part in Brisbane's 2017 Anzac Day march down the city's main streets.
One-hundred-year-old World War II veteran Olga Anderson led the defence nurse unit and saluted from her wheelchair as she passed Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey and other dignitaries at King George Square.
Thousands of onlookers gathered in the warm Queensland sunshine to pay their respects to current and former Australian Defence Force personnel.
They donned themselves with poppies, badges and Australian flags, cheering and applauding as veterans walked past.
Miles Farmer had the privilege of leading his regiment at this year's parade.
The 84-year-old said although it was hard for him to walk, it was something he wouldn't miss.
"It's wonderful," he told AAP.
"I'm going to have lunch with some old friends at Tatts (Tattersalls Club) who I served in Vietnam with."
Mr Farmer was encouraged to see the large crowd commemorate Anzac Day, which the RSL says continues to grow year upon year.
"My father was in World War I," he said.
"The standards they lay down there, it's wonderful for them to be carried on today and be watched on by the public."
It may have been a proud occasion, but for some it also took an emotional toll.
Alfred Roland Ellis' wife died on April 25 two years ago while he was paying respects to his mates who died during the Korean War.
Mr Ellis held back tears as he spoke about the difficulty of not only dealing with the pain of losing her, but also his friends.
"It brings back bad memories," he told AAP.
"I get a bit teary-eyed thinking of my mates."
But Mr Ellis said he was proud to have served and to have the opportunity to take part in every parade since 1957.
Rose-Marie Gauld drives from Ipswich every year to watch her husband march.
Mrs Gault told AAP this year's commemorations were more "poignant" than ever because of all the trouble in the world.
"Here our freedom we don't take for granted," she said.