"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
A cold and wet morning didn't deter a large crowd from turning out for Stratford's Anzac Day dawn service and parade this year.
While members of the public gathered at the Cross of Sacrifice on Miranda St, cadets from Stratford's No 48 Squadron Air Cadet corps assembled and formed a guard of honour at the cross.
Led by the Stratford Pipe Band the parade began at the Malone Gates, marching along Fenton and Miranda St to the Cross of Sacrifice for the dawn service. The service was opened with a prayer by Pastor John Sheed of the MountainView Vineyard Church followed by the hymn Amazing Grace led by Greg Topless.
Mayor Neil Volzke read out a message from the Prime Minister, and John Moore (ex-president of the Stratford RSA) read the governor-general's message.
This year's guest speaker was Taranaki Diocesan School head girl Casey Hayes, who spoke movingly of her own thoughts about Anzac Day and her sense of pride at being related to an Anzac soldier.
Wreaths were laid by the mayor as well as representatives of the RSA, the defence force and members of the public. Throughout the service, the names of Stratford's fallen soldiers were displayed on an outside wall, a silent reminder of the reality and finality of war.
Some of the wreaths placed at the Cross of Sacrifice during the service had been made late last week at council's annual wreath making event.
Carole Door and her granddaughter Chloe Henchman went to make wreaths on the day, something Chloe said she always enjoyed doing.
"A lot of my friends come and make them too, and it is a nice way to remember the Anzac soldiers. I like seeing the wreaths we made on display afterwards."
After providing a guard of honour at the Cross of Sacrifice on Anzac Day, cadets from No 48 Squadron Air Training Corps went on to Hāwera to attend another Anzac Day event.
Their Anzac Day service and preparation had started early with cadets spending Friday morning placing over 200 crosses in front of individual war graves in Stratford's Kopuatama cemetery.