Their medals glistening in the bright autumn sunshine, war heroes from conflicts since the First World War marched in Birmingham yesterday in honour of their fallen comrades.
For some, the memories of war were still too painful to bear, for others distant but still strong recollections flooded back after more than 60 years as young and old gathered together to remember.
In what is thought to be one of the biggest crowds to attend a Remembrance Sunday service in the city in recent years, hundreds of people patiently waited in Centenary Square to cheer and clap the marching servicemen and women.
George Clarke, a magistrate from Kingswinford, was watching his son, Gary, an engineer in the Territorial Army, marching through the square to the city's Hall of Memory.
He said: "It is marvellous to be here today. He was in Iraq for sixanda-half months and it is great he is back.
"He didn't want to go but he is very glad he did.
"He is now working with the TA on recruitment.
"We are not just here to mark the two world wars; it is also Iraq, the Falklands, Suez.
"This is about all conflicts, even to the extent of the bombings on July 7 in London - it is all about people dying in conflict and it is so important that this is marked.
"If they hadn't done what they did in those world wars we wouldn't be here today," he added.
A two-minute silence at 11am was heralded by the traditional commemoration, spoken by the Lord Mayor, Coun John Hood.
Many shed a tear and bowed their heads as he read: "They grow not old as we are left to grow old: age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
"At the going down of the sun and in the morning; we will remember them."
Then the notes of the Last Post followed by a volley of rifle fire by soldiers from the 30 Signal Regiment in Nuneaton rang out and silence descended as the assembled crowds remembered lost friends and relatives.
The silence marks the moment when the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War in 1918.
The Lord Mayor was joined by Rev John Herve, who conducted the Service of Remembrance, and the Assistant Bishop of Birmingham, the Right Rev Michael Whinney, who laid a wreath.
Civic representatives and those from dozens of armed forces associations laid wreaths at the Hall of Memory, before parades of cadets, regiments, fire service and ex-service associations took place.
Sgt John Price, a policeman from Smethwick, who has recently returned from Iraq with the Royal Marines Reserves, was among the servicemen and women marching.
The 31-year-old said: "We are here to remember the sacrifice people have made in the past as well as the present."
As the parade descended back across the square, bright sunlight illuminated the Hall of Memory, lighting up the many wreaths.
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