Thousands more people have turned out to commemorate Anzac Day at a civic service at Memorial Park at 9am.
Anzac Day commemorations began with dawn services throughout the country this morning with more than 2000 people gathering on Marine Parade in Mount Maunganui and at the Tauranga RSA in Cameron Road.
Large crowds at the later 9am service proves Anzac Day’s growing importance in the hearts of New Zealanders as more and more people turn out to pay their respects on April 25 each year.
Mayor Stuart Crosby was impressed with the turn out and spoke of the community spirit bringing the Tauranga people together in light of recent disasters, like the Rena grounding.
Tauranga MP Simon Bridges laid a reef on the war memorial, followed by Western Bay of Plenty Police Area Commander Clifford Paxton and RSA member John Pinkerton.
The day not only recognises the efforts of the Anzac troops, who landed on the beaches of Gallipoli 97 years ago, but also honours and respects the efforts of all New Zealand servicemen and woman.
SunLive’s Tracy Hardy met with veterans at Tauranga RSA to ask about their wartime memories. She speaks to soldiers from WWII to Korea, Malaya to Vietnam shedding light on what it is like on the frontline.
Photos: Daniel Hines