Bruce Morcombe has told thousands of mourners that his son's legacy is a safer world for children.
In a eulogy typical of the grace the Morcombes have shown since Daniel was taken nine years ago, his father urged mourners to look forward.
'Please do not be sad. The evil act which took Daniel happened a long time ago,' he told a huge congregation gathered on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
'Our children and our grandchildren are safer because of Daniel's legacy. Today is about embracing his return to family and being reflective of what might have been.
'Do we dwell on what we've lost? Or accept the space that we are in and try and find some positives?'
As Mr Morcombe's words filled a church at his son's old school, Daniel's white coffin - topped with red roses - sat in front of his parents, brothers and extended family.
Outside, thousands of others who never met the 13-year-old sat watching the service on a TV screen, wearing flashes of red in Daniel's honour, wiping away their tears.
They included SES workers who helped in the search for Daniel's remains, which were finally discovered in bushland on the Sunshine Coast last year.
The service for Daniel is being held on the ninth anniversary of his disappearance from a local bus stop, as he went - dressed in a red T-shirt - to buy Christmas presents for his family.
Before the service began, Mr Morcombe and Daniel's mother Denise laid Christmas presents on their son's coffin - the ones he never got to open in 2003.
Mr Morcombe told mourners Daniel was a quiet, loving boy.
'What is truly ironic about all the recognition, support, help and publicity his search has attracted is that he was such a quiet kid,' he said.
'He was not an attention seeker, yet because of his sparkling eyes and beaming smile, which is captured in photo after photo, he is somebody everybody took into their hearts.
'That is what made Daniel special.'
He spoke of the child safety work done by the foundation set up in Daniel's name.
'The Daniel Morcombe Foundation is committed to doing all it can to ensure this never happens again,' Mr Morcombe said.
Earlier, Daniel's older brother Dean spoke of a tough little brother, who would have been so proud of what his parents had done in his name.
He said Daniel was a gifted student who shared a special bond with his twin Bradley.
'They were great friends and were often getting into mischief or blaming each other as the reason why the room was untidy,' Dean told mourners.
'What are brothers for?'
He said he and his brothers shared a passion for motocross bikes, and Daniel loved animals and going to the movies or shops with friends.
'Daniel was my riding buddy. We would encourage each other to go that bit harder and faster. He was tough,' he said.
'I remember him taking a fall one afternoon trying to attempt a big jump on his new bike.
'Over the handle bars he went, smack into the ground with the bike just missing him. He refused to show the pain. This is what made Daniel special.'