As the rain cleared in Belmont on Monday, Ceiron Doyle was among the hundreds gathered in Cullen Park paying tribute to the Anzac legacy.
In memory of his brother David, one of the more than 500 service people who "made the ultimate sacrifice" during the Vietnam War, Mr Doyle carried an Australian flag given to his family for the "welcome home parade".
"The flags were given to family members of people who died during the war," Mr Doyle said.
"They were probably first noticed as part of the welcome back ceremony as family members marched across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
"This has been part of the family since then and it is the first time I've been lucky enough to carry it on his behalf."
Prefect at Belmont Christian College, Noah Edwards, was emcee for Belmont's service and told the Newcastle Herald Anzac Day is "an important opportunity to show respect".
"We had soldiers who willingly gave their lives and gave us a reputation in the world as a really strong, iconic and powerful community of people who want to help out where we can," Noah said.
"It's not something we can just throw away. It's something we need to talk about, think about and respect."
Noah drew parallels with the current conflict in Ukraine and said Monday was a reminder to "always remember what people are doing for you".
"It's the same thing in Ukraine. People putting their hands up to say 'I will give myself to my country to ensure everyone I know and love is free'."
Wearing his father's service medals, military historian David Dial OAM recounted the personal significance of Anzac day.
"My grandfather, Corporal Henry Dial, was a prisoner of war to the Japanese in Singapore during the second World War," Mr Dial said.
"So my father enlisted in 1943 at the age of 19 not knowing if his father was still alive or not.
"It ended up that my grandfather was in the first batch of prisoners of war to be evacuated and they landed near here in Rathmines.
Belmont RSL sub-branch secretary Robert Abraham said crowd numbers appeared to be "up" compared with pre-pandemic turnouts.
"People haven't been to services for a couple of years and to have it on physically again was great. It was a good crowd, I know that," Mr Abraham said.
"Wars aren't something you glorify. They are terrible and should never happen. But unfortunately they do.
"That's why I feel sorry for the Ukrainians. Knowing we are out here remembering our fallen when they are over there getting killed right now."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.