Honouring Vietnam Veteran’s Day
Shaun Leane’s Minister’s Statementing honouring the service and sacrifice of all our veterans of the Vietnam War. It is 60 years since Australia’s first involvement in the Vietnam War and we will also commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, August 18 1966. In a rubber plantation near the village of Long Tan, Australian soldiers fought one of their fiercest battles of the Vietnam War. D Company, 6th Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment, faced an enemy force of more than 2,000. Heavily outnumbered, D Company held fast for four hours, supported by accurate artillery fire from Nui Dat, before reinforcements arrived. The battle was the largest loss of life on a single day for the Australians, with 18 killed. It became known as Vietnam Veterans’ Day and we remember the 60,000 Australians who served in the Vietnam War. Of these, 3,000 were wounded, and 521 were killed. After a gunfire breakfast, veterans will march from the lower forecourt to the Second World War Memorial Forecourt where the service will begin at 11 am. The program will include a tribute to Australia’s and New Zealand’s Vietnam War fallen and feature Vietnam-era music by entertainers Normie Rowe, John Schumann, Mike Brady, Denise Drysdale, and Marcie Jones. This service is organised by the Victorian Branch of the Vietnam Veterans’ Association, whose motto is “Honour the Dead but Fight Like Hell for the Living”. All are welcome to attend and the service will be livestreamed. Lest we forget.