VIETNAM Veterans Day will be commemorated with a service at the Karuah Memorial on Thursday 18 August at 11.00am.
A new commemorative wall which pays tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in Australia’s more recent conflicts will be dedicated by Father Gary Parker during this service.
Karuah RSL Sub Branch President Mr Peter Fidden said the wall was constructed to allow room for the names of veterans of later conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan and Peacekeeping in places like East Timor to be added.
“There was insufficient space on the existing plinths and it’s important to recognise the veterans of war and remember their service to Australia and its people,” Mr Fidden said.
“The War Memorial is a place of reflection, so essentially people don’t forget about those who served and gave their lives for their freedom.”
Mr Fidden said when servicemen returned from Vietnam, many were judged for their involvement.
“We don’t want that happening with our younger veterans,” he said.
“We want them to be recognised for their service to the country and not forgotten.”
Mr Fidden told News Of The Area the new commemorative wall was made possible through generous donations from the community in addition to state government grants.
“The RSL thanks the community for the donations which allowed this to happen,” he said.
“Some of the plaques were funded through the state government grants, and we’re very grateful for that.”
This year’s Vietnam Veterans Day Commemoration marks the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan which took place on 18 August 1966.
It was the most costly single battle fought by Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War and involved 105 Australians and three New Zealanders from D Company 6RAR and more than 2,000 enemy troops.
A total of 18 Australians were killed and 24 wounded.
Those who fought in the Battle of Long Tan are among the 60,000 Australians whose service and sacrifice will be commemorated during this week’s Vietnam Veterans’ Day