Premier Daniel Andrews has paid tribute to Victorian and US defence personnel, laying a wreath during Memorial Day commemorations at Pier 86 in New York City.
The Premier joined American dignitaries, including Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to mark the sombre occasion during his official tour of the United States.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed in the United States on the last Monday in May to remember the more than 1.1 million Americans who have died serving their country on active duty.
Around 1000 guests paid tribute beside the retired USS Intrepid, observing the unfurling of a 100-foot US flag and three volley rifle salute.
The Premier’s attendance was recognised during the service and he joined Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice Admiral Mark Norman and Vice Chairman of the Intrepid Museum Mel Immergut, lowering one of four large wreaths from the pier into the Hudson River.
This year is particularly significant in Victoria’s military history, marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the Gallipoli campaign, the 75th anniversary of the siege of Tobruk, and the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.
Victorian Government initiatives for the Anzac Centenary include the 5000 Poppies Project at London’s Chelsea Flower Show, the opening of the new $45 million ‘Galleries of Remembrance’ at the Shrine of Remembrance and the Anzac Centenary Roadshow, engaging communities and schools to tell the stories of World War One.
The Andrews Labor Government will also provide $1 million to support commemorations for Victoria’s Vietnam Veterans on the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan this year.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“It was a great honour to attend the Memorial Day service on behalf of Victorians, to remember those who have fallen in defence of our freedom and to reflect that our forces have always stood side by side with our American allies.”
“Today was a special opportunity not only to acknowledge our long history and friendship with the United States but to reflect on the sacrifices of our brave servicemen and women.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020