A combination of freezing temperatures and reflection on Reserve Forces Day sent a chill down the spines of residents on Sunday.
Descendants of war veteran Arthur Belling stood proud as they received medals in his honour.
Arthur Belling was born in Junee and lived in the Riverina until his death in 1974.
He signed up for the war when he was 22 years old and joined the third battalion as a private and embarked for training in Egypt.
He was wounded by shrapnel and would become the only survivor of his platoon and among very few men to return from Gallipoli.
Some of his sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren were among those who received medals from House of Representatives Speaker Bronwyn Bishop at Sunday’s service at the Victory Memorial Gardens.
“It’s significant because we benefited as a family and as a national from that commitment,” grandson Owen Belling said.
“He was just a young man.”
Mr Belling said he can see some of the traits his grandfather possessed, a concern for justice and wellness and a protective nature, being exhibited through different generations of the family.
“He left behind a strong legacy,” Mr Belling said.
Ms Bishop was approached by a colonel when she was the Minister for Defence Industry, Science and Personnel in 1998 about establishing a day to recognise the reserve forces and its a cause she has supported strongly since.
“It acknowledges the importance of citizen and integrated forces,” she said.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from, there’s a respect for the Australian soldier.
“It’s a testimony to the capability of the Australian soldier.”
This year’s Reserve Forces Day commemorated the Battle of Lone Pine from August 6 to 9 in 1915.
Ms Bishop spoke of her own journey to Gallipoli on the 90th anniversary a decade ago.
“As the morning went on, the closer it came to dawn, the colder it got,” she said.
“You realise that when those young men hit the beach what it must have been like for them.
“The carnage that was there was enormous yet our soldiers took Lone Pine … we took it and we held it.”
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