PM pays tribute to war that touched most

They marched in their hundreds bearing flags and war medals, in honour of fallen mates and loved ones.

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But more than 100 years on from the Gallipoli landings, Australia, New Zealand and Turkey remain joined in a new battle against terrorism.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reflected on the Anzac legacy and the ongoing campaigns in Afghanistan and the Middle East during his first Anzac Day address as the nation’s leader.

“Today we offer our solidarity to the Turkish people as we and our allies battle together a new war against terrorism,” he told a crowd of thousands at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

He spoke of his own family’s involvement in World War I, a war that touched most Australian families, his wife Lucy’s pilot grandfather and his own grandfather Fred Turnbull, who survived the Western Front and served again in World War II.

He said the new battle was being fought both abroad and at home and in every dimension including cyber space.

But Anzac Day was not about glorifying war. It was about inspiring Australians to be better.

“This day does not commemorate a triumph of arms.

“It commemorates the triumph of the human spirit, the courage and resolve of those who 100 years ago and ever since, and today put their lives on the line.”

More than 65,000 people turned out for Anzac Day commemorations in the nation’s capital on Monday – 55,000 of whom braved the early morning chill for the dawn service.

This year’s march was almost as long as last year’s, which celebrated the 100-year anniversary.

“It shows that it is not waning,” Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith said.

“Importantly the next generation of Australians acknowledge that sacrifice and have been taught that is what we must do, moving forward as a country.”

Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson used his dawn service address to pay tribute to the 102,700 Australians on the roll of honour at the memorial.

“Like us, each had only one life, one life to serve others and our nation. They chose us.”