PEOPLE around the country turned out in crowds to pay their respects for Anzac Day on Tuesday.

In Sydney, thousands packed Martin Place for the dawn service, with heightened security this year due to fears of terrorism.

A rainbow wreath was laid to commemorate LGBTI soldiers by the Defence LGBTI Information Service (DEFGLIS).

“DEFGLIS participates in Anzac Day because this day is important to all Australians,” said president Vince Chong.

“It is a day where we can celebrate our shared values as Australians and be proud of who we are.

“Wreath-laying is an activity that seeks to recognise all who served. We do not know who they all were, but they don’t deserve to be forgotten.

“The rainbow wreaths placed by DEFGLIS incorporate respectful commemoration of LGBTI personnel who served, and recognition about the effects that the wars had on their families.”

DEFGLIS renewed its practice of laying rainbow wreaths for Anzac Day in 2015 following urging from LGBTI ex-service personnel.

Commemorating LGBTI service personnel has been a historical struggle. In 1982, the Gay Ex-Services Association was prevented from laying a wreath at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, and led away by police.

Anzac Day events are increasingly inclusive of LGBTI and other minority groups.

“Historians have pointed out that Anzacs came from across society and included members with a range of backgrounds, such as Chinese, Aboriginal, Eastern European, Jewish, or Pacific Islander,” said Chong.

“We should not overlook the contribution of any individual or group who served.”

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