Around 250 people gathered at the war memorial in Newcastle's Civic Park to remember the sacrifices made by Australia's service personnel on the 101st anniversary of Armistice Day.
Newcastle East Public School students Jye Kelly and Laria Crawford, of Year 5 and 6 respectively, explained the significance of Remembrance Day to the crowd.
"The tradition of Remembrance Day started after World War I. At 11 am on November 11, 1918, the guns on the Western Front in Belgium and France fell silent after more than four years of warfare," Laria said.
"This first modern war conflict brought about the mobilisation of 70 million people and left nine to 13 million dead."
"Today 101 years after the end of that war we gather pay our respects heartfelt thanks for the courage and sacrifice ensure the continuity of our way of life," Jye said.
"We also commemorate lives and sacrifice of those in subsequent conflicts who have continued the tradition of protecting their loved ones, families and countries."
Merewether's Colin Rowlatt attended the ceremony in memory of his grandfather, Stockton's Bruce George Rowlatt, who served in the Australian Navy throughout World War I, mainly on the HMAS Brisbane.
He received three medals during his service, including the Victory Medal, symbolising the victory of the Allied Forces.
"He lived up until he was 94-years-old," Mr Rowlatt said. "After the war, he worked on the dredges in Newcastle Harbour.
"We always went to the Anzac services and Remembrance Day because he was there [in the war].
"It has that importance to our family," Mr Rowlatt said.
Newcastle RSL sub-branch president Ken Fayle, who is a veteran of the Vietnam War, said the ceremony was better attended than he had expected for a work day.
In his opening address, Mr Fayle said that Remembrance Day was an opportunity to reflect on rights and responsibilities of living in a democracy, commenting on recent protests.
"When we fought for democracy we fought for the privilege of people demonstrating," he said.
"The protesters of today have to remember that not everyone will agree with them, and that they don't have the right to stop people going about their business. They have a responsibility to do what they're doing respectfully."
The Dean of Newcastle, the Very Reverend Katherine Bowyer, led prayers for those who had served.
"May your god hold them in peace, may love flow over the earth and cleanse us all this day and always," Dean Bowyer said.