STUDENTS presented all the traditional elements of an Anzac service as well as music and drama performances in a moving tribute to war veterans at the Civic Theatre yesterday.
About 1400 primary and secondary students attended the 54th Newcastle Combined Schools Anzac service.
Students from Merewether High conducted the service and presented stories on the Vietnam War.
St Francis Xavier students Michael Nolan and Simon McCabe performed an acoustic version of Red Gum's popular Vietnam War protest ballad I Was Only 19 and year 11 Lambton High School drama students re-enacted battle scenes.
The service ended with Merewether High student Owen Elsley's rendition of the Last Post, followed by a minute's silence.
Lord Mayor John Tate was the first of a number of special guests who each laid a single poppy on the Australian flag.
"Today's service is a valuable way of promoting the spirit of the Anzacs . . . to the younger community," Cr Tate said.
"I am very proud of these young people."
He said it was important to remember the Anzacs.
"Without the effort of those who are not here today, we wouldn't have a future," Cr Tate said.