Queenslanders rise in their thousands to honour Anzacs

Queenslanders have gathered in their thousands across the state to pause and reflect on the contributions of defence personnel and their sacrifice to Australia.

Near the state border with NSW, surf boats performed a burial at sea a large crowd paid their respects at the Currumbin dawn service.

Atop Elephant Rock, flags were at half mast to recognise the contributions of nearly 1.5 million Australians who have served and fought for the country.

Hundreds gathered as early as 3.30am in Brisbane city before Governor Jeanette Young laid a wreath commemorating the 16,000 Australian and New Zealand soldiers who at dawn 109 years ago, landed on the shores of Gallipoli.

By the time the service had concluded, between 12,000 and 15,000 people had attended Anzac Square in the city's CBD.

Former and current ADF personnel are set to march through the city between 9.45am and 12.30pm in the annual Anzac Day parade.

Major General Stephen Day, who served in the Australian armed forces for 40 years, said April 25 marks a solemn moment of reflection for those who gave freely of themselves for their country.

Flags at half mast during Anzac Day Dawn Service at Elephant Rock
Flags were at half mast during Anzac Day Dawn Service at Elephant Rock on the Gold Coast. (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

"So that their families, their mates and their mates' families can live in a land that was free and fair," he told AAP.

Maj Gen Day is the state president of the Returned and Services League of Queensland.

He said there will be over 450 events hosted by RSLs across the state on Thursday - an increase of four per cent from 2023.

One particular event will commemorate a game of cricket played on the Shell Green by the Anzacs on the Gallipoli Peninsula that sought to distract the Turks from the imminent departure of allied troops.

The Shell Green match is held between the army and the Lord Mayor's 11.

Crowds are seen during the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Elephant Rock
A large crowd paid their respects at the Currumbin dawn service. (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

Maj Gen Day said the defence community is incredibly grateful for continued support of the nation's veterans on what can be a challenging day for current and former service men and women.

"War transports you to the darkest corner of human activity. You see and will be involved in unspeakably difficult events," he said.

"When you've been involved in the killing of other humans, your soul takes on a black stain, which might fade, but it never goes.

"Anzac Day reminds us of those who have been to war, have those experiences and think of those we've lost.

"They say that soldiers die twice; once when you're physically killed and then again if people stop saying your name."

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