Wet Anzac parade still draws a crowd

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Thousands of people lined St Georges Terrace in Perth today to honour Australia’s past and present servicemen and women.

The rain could not hold back the crowd, who cheered as bagpipes and snare drums roared through the centre of the city and past a canopy of umbrellas.

With security concerns heightened around the country after an alleged terrorist plot was uncovered in Sydney, WA police had a strong presence at the parade.

Former soldier Ashley Baker, who served in the Australian army for 32 years, said he did not believe anyone would have given the terorrism plot a second thought.

Image of Ashley Baker

Ashley Baker, former serviceman for the Australian army

“I think the weather has,” he said. “I don’t think the security scare has. I think people are fairly pragmatic about it.”

Mr Baker said the dawn service was about commemorating those who gave their lives in service, while the parade was about honouring all service people and being proud of Australia.

“I think it just grounds people,” he said. “What you hear in the news these days, there is so much disrespect out there.”

“I think this just brings us back down to earth and makes us think about our fellow people. That is what it does for me anyway.”

Among the crowd there was a remarkable amount of families, small children wearing their relatives’ war medals, and parents pushing prams draped in clear plastic.

Image of Debbie Schotte & 1st Ballajura Scouts

Debbie Schotte & the 1st Ballajura Scouts

Mother Debbie Schotte stood underneath an umbrella with members of the 1st Ballajura Scouts and handed out Anzac Day pamphlets.

“It is great for the kids to be a part of all of this,” she said.

“It shows their heritage and what Australia is about. There are so many opportunities for children to go to services with their families.

“It is just bred into them now that this is what we do, and this is how we honour the fallen.”

Ms Schotte said her family would pay their respects on Anzac Day regardless of security concerns.

“I don’t think that would make a difference,” she said.

“I think Australians still step up, and we are not going to let terrorists beat us.”

Judith McDougall said it was important to continue honouring the fallen.

“It makes us appreciate the country that we live in and how safe we feel in this country,” she said.

“It [the war] took away the youngest generation of our people way back then. Parents are now bringing their children, and children are now aware of that too.”

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