The Opposition has today commemorated the brave men and women who served and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, during the 10 years Australia engaged in the Vietnam War.
Shadow Veterans Issues Minister Colin de Grussa said Vietnam Veterans Day honoured the 60,000 who served in the conflict which killed 521 Australians and wounded thousands more.
“This year marks 60 years since Australia’s first involvement in the fierce conflict in Vietnam, and today is a stark reminder of the ferocity of war,” Mr de Grussa said.
“We also today acknowledge the reception of our veterans when they returned home, which remains a grim period in our nation’s history.
“These were young soldiers, many of whom were balloted into fighting for their country, returning from a horrific conflict overseas to unfair and unsolicited judgment.
“Today, we honour those service personnel, particularly our veterans who continue to suffer from the trauma and impact of war.”
Mr de Grussa said this year also marked the 56th anniversary of one of Australia’s deadliest days in the Vietnam conflict, the Battle of Long Tan.
“We will not forget the sacrifices these soldiers made in what was a relentless attack in the pouring rain in the Long Tan rubber plantation, which left 18 Australians dead and 24 injured.
“The bravery of all the men and women who served our nation during the Vietnam War is something we are all grateful for and today, we remember them.”
Mr de Grussa attended the ceremony in Kings Park at the weekend to pay the respects of the Opposition and encouraged all West Australians to attend services today.
Lest we forget.