For Maungatapu resident Dick Frew, today will mark only the fourth time in almost 60 years that he has missed attending an Anzac Day service.
Instead, he was to stand at the end of his driveway, along with many other Kiwis, as part of the RSA's Stand At Dawn service.
The Stand At Dawn service was to be broadcast over RNZ National from 6am, with the Last Post, Ode of Remembrance and New Zealand, Australian and Turkish national anthems played before an address by Ron Mark, Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs.
Frew had "a big poppy" stuck to his letterbox, and he would stand alongside it, he told the Bay of Plenty Times yesterday. "It's about all I can do ... It's a very important day for me."
Frew, who is a former president of the Tauranga Returned and Services Association branch, said commemorating Anzac Day meant a lot to him. He had seven relatives who fought in World War I, four of whom were killed.
"My mother's Uncle Sam was killed during the Gallipoli landings," he said.
"Her brother was also killed in the First World War ... he was only 19."
Frew himself fought in Malaya from 1959-61.
It was a "disappointment" not being able to be at the Cenotaph today, he said.
The first Anzac Day parade Frew attended was in Otorohanga in 1963. He also won the ballot to attend the centennial service at Gallipoli in 2015, which was "very emotional", he said.
"When I came back as a returned serviceman, it really sunk into me what it was," Frew said.
"There's been a lot of good guys left behind."