The true legacy of the Anzacs is love and mateship, the head of Australia's War Memorial says.
More than 65,000 people commemorated Anzac Day at the Australian War Memorial's ceremonies, with 55,000 attendees standing in silence as the Last Post and the warble of the bush pierced the morning.
The playing of the didgeridoo by Arnhem Squadron patrol commander and Yolngu elder Sergeant Norman Daymirringu signalled the start of the national dawn service on the 101st anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, as thousands of battery-operated candles twinkled like stars in the darkness.
Australian War Memorial director Dr Brendan Nelson used an emotional address to remind Australians Anzac Day was not a celebration of war, but rather love and friendship.
"Love of family, of country and honouring those who devote their lives not to themselves but to us and their last moments to one another," Dr Nelson said.
"After the bloodbath at Fromelles, Sergeant Simon Fraser spent three backbreaking days bringing in the wounded from No Man's Land. A lone voice pleaded through the fog, 'Don't forget me cobber'. He didn't. We won't. We never will."
Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith said it was a time to reflect on the effect of war on servicemen and women and their families.
He said more support needs to be given to those who have returned from conflict zones.
"I think quite deeply about the friends that I've lost and just those 40 names we saw this morning from the Afghanistan conflict mean a great deal to me because I know those people, I know where they served, I know how they fought and what they fought against so for me that's something quite personal," Mr Roberts-Smith said.
Nikki Harman, 20, of Melbourne drove more than seven hours to attend her first dawn service despite the painful legacy war has left on her family.
"I've never had the chance to participate in Anzac Day, my grandparents didn't like all of the memories that came with it so they opted to stay home," she said.
"My grandma's dad was a prisoner of war, the Russians took him and then the Germans took him. I always get emotional knowing men have lost their lives to save us all from turmoil like in other countries."
Her friend, Matt Lodge, 25 said he was carrying the torch for his Vietnam veteran grandfather, who was too ill to participate in Anzac Day commemorations this year.
"It's pretty surreal [being here], we were in the memorial yesterday for the Last Post [ceremony] and that was pretty moving. What they had to go through was a pretty hard ask," he said.
Several hundred metres away, at the foot of Mt Ainslie, a much smaller group of people sat on rocks or stood with hands huddled in pockets at a ceremony for fallen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women.
Indigenous Australians shared memories and sang songs of love and peace as hundreds stood in the quiet bush.
Khalid Syed of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said he came to pay his respects because the sacrifices of Australia's veterans have allowed him to live here without fear of persecution.
"I think it's important for us to come to occasions like this and show our gratitude and we are here to commemorate the sacrifices of the Anzacs. Their sacrifices made Australia safe and secure and prosperous as it is now so we are very grateful," Mr Syed said.
Dr Nelson said no Australians have given more to our country than those who have worn the uniform of the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force.
"They have given us a greater belief in ourselves and a deeper understanding of what it means to be Australian," Dr Nelson said.
"They - and especially physically and emotionally wounded veterans amongst us, [and their] families who love and support them, remind us that are some truths by which we live that are worth fighting to defend."