The chilly weather and light rain was no match for the Anzac spirit as an estimated 5500 people gathered for Geraldton’s dawn service — one of the biggest turn outs the city has seen for the national day of respect and reflection. Across the Mid West, services were well attended as WA celebrated its first unrestricted Anzac Day commemorations in three years. A parade of veterans as well as relatives of those who served marched proudly along closed Geraldton streets ahead of the dawn service at 6am and the main service at 11am at Birdwood House. Geraldton RSL president Ken Morris addressed the crowd at dawn, telling them: “We must give all possible support to those who continue to put on the uniform.” Among the sea of faces at Geraldton’s dawn service was WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch. Ex-diplomat and singer-songwriter Fred Smith performed his original song, Sapper’s Lullaby, a tale of two young men who lost their lives during service. “After that song was performed, the entire crowd gave the most genuine minute’s silence for those two blokes,” said Paul Ryan, wearing the medals from his service during the Vietnam War. While not matching the massive numbers at dawn, the main service and march still attracted a big crowd. Mr Smith addressed the main service, saying it was “an opportunity to remember, remember those who forfeited their futures fighting for Australia overseas.” “Why is an important question 364 days a year, but today on Anzac Day we set aside the question to think of those who did not ask why,” he told the crowd. Geraldton RSL vice-president Ken Morris said he was happy the weather held up. “I couldn’t believe it went as well as it did, the rain held off for the dawn service, and we thought we would get wet for the main service but the sun came out,” he said. Local cubs and scouts diligently took shifts guarding the memorial from 6pm on Monday to 6am on Tuesday. In Northampton, Geraldton Police Rangers played a role in dismounting the catafalque party and forming the colour parade, while the Northampton RSL held a gunfire breakfast. Geraldton Police Rangers unit coordinator Brie-anne Mauger said the young squad diligently arrived in the morning in uniform and applied a fresh coat of polish to their boots before bed the night before. “It was tough training, an early start, but everyone pulled together and demonstrated that Police Rangers are made of some pretty special stuff,” she said. The Dongara community were invited for lunch and refreshments at Dongara RSL following their main service. The sun was shining in Kalbarri during the 11am service as Kalbarri District High School’s bushranger cadets led the march and represented the school with dignity. Kalbarri Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (KVFRS) member Shonna Tetai-Berg was presented with the National Medal for 15 years of volunteering service. “A big congratulations on giving up 15 years for a good cause. Shonna is a wonderful woman and I wish there were more like her, she’s kind, calm and compassionate,” KVFRS captain Travis Glass said. Perenjori War Memorial was busy during the service, while Perenjori Primary School held their own Anzac Day service at the school, which Perenjori Police attended. Morawa District High School senior brass band students marched with the veterans during the service.