"A further 80,000 people attended the dawn service at Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance."
Canberra, April 25 - Amid dark skies and the first taste of winter, thousands of ordinary Australians have laid wreaths at hundreds of solemn services around the country to commemorate the men and women who served and died in wars for ANZAC day, the nation's unofficial national day.
ANZAC serves as an acronym for Australia New Zealand Army Corps and the date marks the 99th anniversary of the first landings by Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli, Turkey in 1915, according to Xinhua.
Australians celebrate the battle on May 8, 1915 where they led French and British troops in a disastrous campaign, across the southern end of the Gallipoli peninsula.
Considered expendable by generals of the British Commonwealth, the Australian and New Zealand troops were given the order to advance in broad daylight upon an entrenched Ottoman forces shooting from higher ground.
More than one thousand Australians were killed within moments - the briefest of Great War exchanges that historians here mark as the birth of the Australian nation.
Early Friday morning, an estimated 10,000 gathered at the Cenotaph at Martin Place in Sydney, with state premier Mike Baird, federal Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and a contingent of dignitaries and veterans families braving wet and solemn conditions.
Attending on behalf of family and friends committed in campaigns from Burma to Afghanistan, Kiama resident Samuel Julian said it was important to honour and remember those who had fallen in the line of duty.
Services have also been held in all major centers and capital cities, including Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, Darwin and Hobart.
A further 80,000 people attended the dawn service at Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance.
The dawn service in the capital city of Canberra was attended by the Queen's representative - Governor General Peter Cosgrove and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who have been touring the country in the lead up.