That was how Bathurst RSL Sub Branch president David Mills felt on Sunday after seeing a crowd of veterans and residents converge in Kings Parade for the city's main Anzac Day Service.
It was a big change from last year, where the only way people could commemorate service and sacrifice was at the end of their driveway.
"I was really stunned. I did not believe that the numbers would turn out," Mr Mills said.
"I think it just shows how important commemoration is to the community."
Although there were still restrictions, Bathurst held an Anzac Day parade with reduced numbers and a service at the Carillon.
Importantly, the message of Anzac Day remained unchanged.
That is, to stop, reflect and be thankful for the service and sacrifice of men and women that has afforded every citizen the freedoms they have today.
"We meet today not to celebrate or glorify war, but to remember those who have served our country during conflict and in times of crisis, those who continue to serve and those who still bear the scars of their service, and they continue to pay the price of their time in uniform," Mr Mills said during the service.
"And we remember, too, those who served on the home front, those who support our servicemen and women, those who carry the burden of damaged partners, those who support the battle within, family and friends, for theirs was and still is no less a service to Australia."
Residents also heard from mayor Bobby Bourke and the youth mayor of Bathurst, Zoe Peters.
Ms Peters gave a rousing speech, perfectly summing up what soldiers would have gone through during the biggest conflicts, and what their efforts did for their country.
"ANZAC Day began to commemorate the lives of the soldiers that landed at Gallipoli. The longstanding legacy of Anzac Day means that as we stand here today we commemorate the sacrifice of all Australian and New Zealand military personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice in all wars, all conflicts," she said.
"The qualities of the 16,000 soldiers that landed at Gallipoli run deep in the blood of our entire military and this is something that deserves continual recognition and tribute."
She also noted the Bathurst lives that had been lost.
"Every single one of these local soldiers fought a battle to achieve goals that they were never able to enjoy," Ms Peters said.
While the main Anzac Day commemorations were held in the Bathurst central business district on Sunday, surrounding villages also ceremonies to recognise the day.
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