'You're a disgrace': Protester disrupts Anzac Day service
A LONE protester draped in a German flag shouting "German lives matter" has disrupted the Anzac Day service in Murwillumbah.
Thousands of angry onlookers watched on as the protester walked around the service, before shouting "Germany should have won the war" during The Last Post and the Minute's Silence.
The protester was holding up a sign which read: "Over 110 million lives forgotten" followed by a drawing of a German flag and the words, "lives matter".
Those taking part in the service did their best to ignore the protester while several upset people in the crowd shouted at the woman to "go home", while one veteran yelled "you're a disgrace".
The protester eventually stopped during the Ode of Remembrance after she was spoken to by a member of the crowd, but continued to hold up the sign during the national anthem and until the end of the service.
Many people who were too far away to hear or see the protester mistakenly believed she was an indigenous activist due to the colours on the flag draped over her shoulders.
Parade marshall and Murwillumbah RSL member Chris Christostomos told the Tweed Daily News, "The best thing you can do with those kinds of people is just to ignore them".
"They come here to make a scene, they try to interrupt at the most crucial time but if you make a scene, that's what they're looking for," he said.
The protest was just a blip on the radar for what was otherwise a successful Anzac Day service.
Thousands gathered along the streets of Murwillumbah to pay tribute to past and present veterans with an Anzac Day march led by students of Murwillumbah High School and the marching band of Mount Saint Patrick College.
During the service, Murwillumbah RSL president Ron Bossink reflected on the selfless sacrifice Australian soldiers have made so that we can live free.
"We come together on Anzac Day to remember these men and their achievements and all Australians who have served since," he said.
"We should be proud of our heritage and grateful to those who won it for us, this is the spirit of Anzac, the spirit which we must pass on to the next generations."
Murwillumbah High School captain Tahnee English said the Anzac spirit was "the very essence of our nation".
"But it is also about sadness and grief, with young lives cut short and dreams left unfulfilled, it is about the horror and carnage of war," she said.
"So many flags all over the country send out a very clear and strong message to me, and that is to try by all means possible to avoid war and conflict in the future, and to embody the spirit of the Anzac."