Later in the morning, under overcast skies, the familiar sounds of pipes from the Federation University Pipe Band could be heard from blocks away, as Ballarat residents took the opportunity to honour the fallen and reflect on the sacrifices of others.
More than 1,500 people took part in the Anzac Day march around the cenotaph in Sturt Street, with many small children rugged up on their parent's shoulders, proudly waving to grandparents mid-march.
Ballarat RSL secretary Maurie Keating said he believed young people were getting "far more involved" in Anzac Day celebrations, "and in turn, they encourage their parents to come along".
For current army soldier Matthew Seamons, the day was host to an even more important family reunion; it was the first time in 26 years he had spent time in Ballarat with his brother Roy, a former soldier himself.
Military service runs in the Seamons family, with the brothers' grandfather and great-grandfather veterans of conflict.
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Marching together down Sturt Street was "emotional", according to Mr Seamons, who said it was heartwarming to see such a large public display of support after spending more than 25 years in the army.
"The Anzac spirit was passed to us, and we're passing it on to the younger generation," Mr Seamons said.
"It was good to see so many people, and it was good to share it with my brother. I felt absolute pride and it was a privilege to march with him."
Around 4,000 gathered around to listen to the Anzac Day oration by Captain Aaron Rye, who meditated on the atmosphere of Anzac Days past - from the exultation present in 1919 after armistice was declared, to the dark cloud created by alienating Vietnam veterans, to the increasing influence of the voices of young servicemen and women from contemporary conflicts.
Reflecting on the enormity of the day, Ballarat RSL pensions officer John Scannell said he'd be most happy if they "worked themselves out of a job, and there were no more returned serviceman".
"But sadly, history teaches us that is unlikely."
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