The family of a veteran who died last night was determined that he should still be a part of the dawn service in Auckland this morning.
Vietnam Veteran's Association spokesperson Eddie Nock said the man had been a member of 161 Battery during the Vietnam war.
His family asked if they could bring the man in his casket to the service, and Mr Nock was pleased to be able to help.
"The family were very gracious - they explained what they were here for ... and I said, well let's try and organise it."
The casket was brought up to Auckland War Memoiral Museum, where the service was held, and placed next to the weeping wall.
"It was a fantastic feeling actually," Mr Nock said.
"It's also about people. Whenever you do a job like this and you look for purpose it always comes down to life and it comes down to people."
Auckland's dawn service took place in still, clear conditions, with thousands of people - many of them children - in attendance.