Western Victoria will pay tribute to Victoria’s brave servicemen and women on Vietnam Veterans Day on Thursday 18 August, the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.
Gayle Tierney MP, Member for Western Victoria announced today that 8 schools from Western Victoria would attend a special service at the Shrine of Remembrance. Their travel is made possible by a $1000 Labor Government subsidy.
Some 60,000 Australian ground troops, air force and navy personnel served in Vietnam, and more than 500 never returned home. The Vietnam War was Australia’s longest twentieth-century conflict, lasting more than a decade.
This Thursday marks 50 years since the Battle of Long Tan, where 108 brave young Australians from D Company 6 RAR resisted an attack of more than 2,000 Viet Cong soldiers. Eighteen Australians were killed and 24 were wounded, but it would become one of the most extraordinary chapters of Australia’s wartime story.
All Victorians deserve an opportunity to pay tribute to our Vietnam veterans. That’s why the Labor Government is helping schools such as Camperdown College, Ceres Primary School, Colac Primary School, Grovedale College, Mercy Regional College, St Patrick’s School, Trinity College Colac Inc and Warrnambool East Primary School send students to the Shrine. These schools are 8 of 50 across the state to receive a travel subsidy.
The Labor Government is also providing free public transport to help the veteran community mark the occasion with Veterans and war widows eligible for free travel between August 17-19.
Thursday’s service includes performances by the Caulfield South Primary School Drums Corps, Choir Victoria and the Royal Australian Navy Band Vocalist. A Long Tan Cross re-enactment, a flyover of three Bird Dog Aircraft and a display of 521 crosses representing those killed in action is also planned.
The Vietnam Veterans Day March begins at the St Kilda Road Police Memorial at 11am before a wreath laying ceremony at noon.
Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney MP
“Western Victoria will pause and reflect on the extraordinary contribution our Vietnam veterans made. It’s a solemn day, but a very proud one, too.”
“Our veterans gave us all a great gift. This is our chance to pay tribute and give thanks for their sacrifice.”
“The passing of time should not and will not diminish our memory of what took place. It’s our duty to give them the recognition they deserve.”
“We want all Victorians to have a chance to pay their respects. That’s why we’re helping schools in Western Victoria send students to the Shrine to mark the special day.”