Victorians will pause today to honour our Vietnam veterans.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Veterans John Eren will pay their respects at the Shrine of Remembrance, alongside Vietnam veterans and thousands of Victorians gathering to mark Vietnam Veterans Day.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, where 108 young Australians from D Company 6 RAR resisted an attack of more than 2,000 Viet Cong soldiers.
The Battle of Long Tan claimed the lives of 18 Australians, and a further 24 were wounded, and it’s forever etched as one of the most decisive moments in Australia’s proud military history. They walked into a deadly war zone without a second’s thought – and had their nation’s interests at heart.
The Vietnam War was Australia’s longest military engagement of the 20th century. Some 60,000 Australians answered their nation’s call, and 521 never made it home.
Today, Australia recognises and reflects on their sacrifice, but it hasn’t always been the case. Many were greeted by a hostile, divided and unappreciative Australia when they returned home. We didn’t give them the recognition they deserved.
Our veterans gave us a great gift, and it’s our duty to preserve their legacy. We will never forget their service.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Our Vietnam veterans gave Australia extraordinary service. We haven’t always given them the recognition they deserve, but today we stand as a nation and reflect on their brave contribution.”
“The Battle of Long Tan will forever be one of the most decisive moments in our nation’s history. As a state, we are so proud.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Veterans John Eren
“Our veterans gave us a great gift. This is a chance to pay tribute and give thanks for their sacrifice.”
“Many Victorians have a connection with the Vietnam War. Many Victorians will today reflect on their own family’s proud story.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020