Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

18 August 2014

Guy Barnett, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier

Vietnam Veterans Day

The Liberal Government supports commemorations for all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations that Australia has been involved in.

The commemorations recognise the sacrifice of Australia's defence personnel. Today, August 18 commemorates Vietnam Veterans Day.

Originally known as Long Tan Day, Vietnam Veterans Day, commemorates the day in 1966 when the battle of Long Tan was fought by the men of D Company, 6th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR).

On the third anniversary of Long Tan, 18 August 1969, a cross was raised on the site of the battle by the men of 6RAR. Veterans from the battle gathered at the cross to commemorate the fallen, and the day has been commemorated ever since.

The Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans lists approximately 61 000 men and women who served in the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force in Vietnam, or in the waters adjacent to Vietnam, during the conflict between May 1962 and April 1975.

Apart from the suffering inflicted on the families of the 17 Tasmanians killed, there were many deeply affected including the 1800 Tasmanians (1487 in the army: 783 regulars and 704 conscripted national servicemen) who served in Vietnam.

In remembering Vietnam Veterans Day, communities throughout Australia remember the sacrifices made by men and women in a conflict that spanned a 12-year period. This military involvement was the longest in duration of any war in Australia's history.

The Commemorative Service will be held at the Hobart Cenotaph on Monday 18 August 2014. The Laying of Wreaths will commence at 11.45 am, led by the Lieutenant Governor of Tasmania, followed by representatives of Federal, State and Local Governments, Australian Defence Force, ex-service and community organisations. The service will commence at 12.00 noon.

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