As Prince William joined Australians and New Zealanders honouring their servicemen and women, 100-year-old veteran Sam Krycer was feeling particularly humble and emotional.
The former leading aircraftman had the honour of leading Melbourne's Anzac Day march alongside other World War II veterans.
"It gets a bit emotional for me today. I didn't expect all of that," Mr Krycer said of the scale of Thursday's proceedings.
"I still feel humbled, really, (to) see these young boys.
"I also remember all the thousands of those who didn't make it back home."
Prince William joined those paying tribute at services around Australia and New Zealand 104 years after Allied troops landed at Gallipoli in Turkey in World War I.
The Duke of Cambridge laid a wreath on behalf of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II during a civic service at Auckland's War Memorial Museum.
Tens of thousands turned out to watch the Anzac Day marches in cities across Australia.
Delivering his final Anzac Day address at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, outgoing Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove explained the fundamental reason so many assembled each year.
"It is by our presence to say to the shades of those countless men and women who did not come home, or who made it back but who have now passed, and to say to their modern representatives, the ones around the nation who today march behind their banners:
"You matter. What you did matters. You are in our hearts. Let it be always thus."
The former defence force chief said veterans marched to honour "those who have faded from our ranks".
"Gone but not forgotten, while there's a breath in any of us," he said.
"When we march we like to look at those gathered to watch and wonder, young and old, family, friends and strangers, and to catch their gaze and convey our silent message: We did it for our nation, for what Australia stands for. We did it for you.'
"Let it be always thus."
Australia's oldest living Victoria Cross recipient Keith Payne, who received Australia's highest military honour for risking his life to save 40 men in Vietnam, joined the annual commemorative march in Adelaide.
The 85-year-old said Anzac Day ceremonies continue to draw large crowds of all ages because young people understand the sacrifice of those who have served in the military.
"Australia's seeing the younger generation appreciate the peace that's been given to them," Mr Payne said.
"I know that they'll look after peace into the future."
Australian Associated Press