Daniel Morcombe farwelled in touching celebration of life

David Stuart

THE funeral service for Daniel Morcombe has been a touching tribute to a young boy whose life was cut tragically short.

The service celebrated the life of a loved son, brother and friend.

It also paid tribute to the many who have been touched in so many ways since young Daniel first disappeared.

Police, SES volunteers and others who played a vital part in searching for Daniel were honoured and  tributes were given by Daniel's brother Dean and father, Bruce.

The work of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation was celebrated for its role in increasing awareness of danger to thousands of children across the state.

Daniel's coffin left Sippy Downs to applause as his family headed to a private service.

Thousands who attended today's service joined in a guard of honour for  Daniel's final farewell.

Daniel's parents  arrived shortly before the scheduled start time of the funeral as family, friends and community members gathered to share in their grief.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and former Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson also made their way into the church.

The doors to the church opened at 10am and the steady stream of mourners continued through the morning,  despite steady rain.

All people attending the church were expected to be seated  at 10.45am, 15 minutes before the service was due to start.

>> View the Sunshine Coast Daily's front page tribute to Daniel

Extended coverage of the funeral service, including tributes here

Work by volunteers early this morning, including students from Siena College, insured all was in readiness for the funeral.

Singing rehearsals were held and a media briefing was conducted early, ahead of the arrival of members of the public.

Rain fell steadily for most of the morning but the community worked together in a show of respect for Daniel and his family.

Volunteers gathered towels and dried chairs in preparation for a crowd of 3000 expected to attend the funeral.

Leave your tributes to Daniel here

A large media contingent was on site from 5.30am and Siena College students rolled up early to set up chairs and marquees. A media briefing was held at 8.15, reminding participants to maintain the dignity of the occasion.

In a show of community spirit, a coffee van  turned up to offer free coffee to those doing their bit to help the nation honour young Daniel.

The media contingent from around Australia were greeted with red ribbons on the pillars outside the school as volunteers set up chairs and marquees.

There were about a dozen colourful marquees, including some in Daniel's colour, red, already set up.

>> Siena students unite to show support

STUDENTS past and present have shown up in force to set up for Daniel Morcombe's funeral this morning.

More than 50 have arrived so far, with more trickling in as the morning goes on.

They have helped set up marquees and are now pulling chairs out for the expected thousands here today.

2013 college captain Aliza Hogan, 17, of Buderim, showed up without hesitation.

"Siena community is such a strong based school. We're all very together.

"Daniel has been a huge part of our school. I feel honored to be here helping out today.

"We've had students who have left come back to help out.

"I'm sure more will stroll in during the day to help set up.

"It's so good to see. It's really a proud moment. Really stoked to see everyone here.

Aliza said the call to arms went out throughout school and over Facebook with students told to get here at 6am.

Teachers were here at 5.30am

Topics:  community daniel morcombe funeral morcombes sunshine coast

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